On the Road with Tin Tin ;-) i love this piece

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Education for a Special Needs Child

Feb. 27, 2013 11:26am


The snow of two weeks ago is gone but my daughter's disinterest for school lingers on.

My special needs child just refuses to go to school anymore. It's been two weeks since she's been staying home with me. We constantly work together on her home work workbooks but beyond that we don't really do anything much apart from going to the playground on good-weather days and her tagging along with me to the shops. I have called the District 75 concerning this and I was told to just keep on encouraging her to go back to school. Also, this has put pressure on the Transfer Officer-in-Charge concerning my pending request for a transfer of school for her to a District 75 school nearest our home. She may be able to start at that school this coming Summer, if there's a place, and then she can go on staying there. Of course this is if at all she would still want to try a new school. I am exploring home schooling under District 75 although I have heard it's a tough path.

So, a few days ago I got the packet from District 75 for Home Schooling and it's so daunting as it looks a lot of hard work. I am slowing down today to pray what really is God's direction for me as my younger daughter's schooling has been such a burden ever since pre-school, until now. And it's all because of what the governments dictate us to do.

So there, today it will be a turning aside for me to wait on the Lord concerning this heavy burden  and rough road of educating a special needs child.



Friday, February 14, 2014

Looking In from the Outside

Feb. 14, 2013 11:19am

A Facebook friend posted a greeting for Valentine's: "Happy Valentine's to all those who are taken, are almost taken, taken for granted, waiting to be taken, assumed to be taken, and those who aren't taken seriously." Wow, that covers pretty much everyone, almost, except those who are "taken for a ride"! Lol !! Whatever category you may be in, sure thing make it a happy one !!

 My favorite catch-all phrase is, "whatevers", and my children find it so annoyingly sarcastic my older daughter suggested I change it to something else. So I came up with "sure thing", and it works wonders!! hahaa!! For a Valentine's Day movie, try watching something out of the ordinary, or rather, something extraordinary. Try a love triangle, with an underlying theme of macabre. Ugh, I don't mean the over-used romantic, vampire movies - they aren't extraordinary anymore, nor macabre to many. Try something more up-to-date, a 2010 movie for instance. Hahaaa, ok, two years old isn't up-to-date. I kind of think it's a new movie because I have never heard of it until we watched it last weekend.

Workers clearing the snow in front of the restaurant right next to the library when we came out from.


 It was February 8th, Blizzard Nemo was hitting at night, the snow had started falling, it was past 5pm and we knew the library would close at 7pm. Of course, it was already dark as the sun sets at 4:30pm in winter. My older daughter suggested we borrow some movies as we might really get holed up in this blizzard for a day or two, or longer. I called just to make sure they were still open and yes, they were, but only until 6pm. So, we hurriedly bundled up and trudged in the snow flurry. Woot, the falling snow was pretty! I had bought the last box of matchsticks I found at our local pharmacy cum sundry shop, had bought all sorts of bread at the supermarket to last us for days, just in case we couldn't cook if the lights went off and the water and gas lines were interrupted. In short, I was pretty much all-geared-up for that blizzard assault, after our past experiences with Hurricane Irene, and the more recent Hurricane Sandy to whom many people lost loved ones and properties - property and emotional damages and liabilities that North East residents, especially New Yorkers, still suffer through to this day. Many of us city dwellers were caught with our pants down. Water entered some people's homes when they are not even near the water line, trees crashed into the homes of some, rudely intruding into their well-furnished living rooms or cozy bedrooms in the middle of the night. Some of us had our basements flooded and a cluster of about a hundred flooded homes were razed down by fire due to short-circuited power lines. Not to mention an explosion of a substation of Con Edison, the power supply contractor of New York City, brought a good part of the business center Manhattan, to darkness, for many hours. Apparently, only blizzards used to hit this Northeastern coast of the US in the past, not tropical storms. Irene and Sandy had been largely unexpected and many people were caught unprepared, some didn't even have workable flashlights. Having just come out fresh from the huge predicament of Sandy, these metropolis dwellers have become wary and went into preparation over-drive for Nemo. This time the bread and majority of frozen food went on sale in our supermarket, the match stick section in the shelves was emptied, the petrol stations upstate ran out of gas even 12 hours before Nemo came, and our neighborhood ones got emptied hours before! I had bought three packs of bottled water two weeks ago myself, when it was on sale. They jack up the price when it's emergency time like that, so, I had become wiser myself!
From the outside looking in. Who's in the fish bowl, we or them? - I find this still from the movie, "Never Let Me Go", symbolic of the whole story.


 Anyway, back to the movie I am suggesting for you to watch. Yes, it was one of the movies we got for that blizzard Nemo weekend. I picked it from our local library, along with six others, more because of the heavy-weight names on it - Keira Knightly, Andrew Garfield and Carrey Mulligan. But I've never heard of it before. Either it's a super-flop or... well, these big names won't waste their time making this movie if it's not something. Ok, for mega-spoilers here it is: It's a love-triangle of a common kind, you know, childhood friends, classmates, even dorm-mates. Nothing is said on the DVD cover about what it's all about and the word is never mentioned in the movie. It keeps you guessing until almost half-time of the movie. My daughter says it's similar to a movie she had watched before but this one is set more romantically and presented charmingly - in the idyllic English countryside with English characters with very thick English accents. Now you smell English rose? Think Valentine's when there are no parents, no community, no aging,... eh, sounds other-worldly. It's a story within a story, within a story; with the last story probably being more about what it does to your own soul. It's probably unreal, that's why I tended to dismiss it after I have watched it. But I wanted my younger son to watch it for social awareness so I sat with him the next day to watch it again. He found it boring, he didn't wait for the children to become adults. It was too slow for his gamer generation. As for me, after I watched it again, I couldn't shake it off. This movie has three characters. And as I already mentioned, it has three layers of stories. And the impact of the movie is probably in that it mentions the soul being missing but God and spirit are totally not even mentioned, well, as in most movies, anyway, but it matters most in this movie. It is very much open-ended, as there was no solution to the problem they faced. In fact, only if we acknowledge that there are really three characters in this story - us, our spirit and God - will there be a resolution to the story. But as it is, the story presumes our spirit and God don't come into the picture.

 Ever wondered why there is slavery in the Bible and why the societies of the Old and New Testaments accepted it, or why even Jesus never spoke against it? Slavery had always been part of human history, in any culture. Why? I tend to think that if God abolished it we will never understand the spiritual slavery that we are in. The New Testament says we are slaves of sin; we become slaves of the sin we obey. Or we become slaves of the master we obey, be it God or the evil one. (That's why the Apostle Paul was a self-confessed bond-slave of Christ, and he's one servant who truly loves the Master who thoroughly loves him.) If slavery is totally eradicated from human experience how will we ever be able to understand our being in a state of spiritual slavery to sin? Before the Messiah Jesus came God sent "types" - the sacrifice of bulls and lambs and goats, the sacrifice of Isaac who was replaced by the sacrifice of a ram, etc. Because we had the "types" in the Old Testament we are able to understand the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus did in behalf of all of us to set us free from the slavery of sin. And yet, many of us miss it because we refuse to face the issue. It's pretty much the same with this movie.

 Now back to the movie. Will humanity get to this level of barbarism? Or are we already there? Brutal crimes against women, abortions and human trafficking are just some of the crimes of humanity that have wrought the recent outcry of a few. What more evil under the sun have we not uncovered?Talking about slavery, I tend to think this is the ultimate kind. A love triangle set in the time of the gladiators? Or the Hunger Games? The brutality and macabre are subtle. Who has no soul? The chicken and goats in a farm? The farmed or the farmer? This is one love story that must be watched by all, even just once. Then probably it will make for a happy Valentine's for all of us.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another One of Those Days

Feb. 13, 2013, 4:27pm, Wednesday, New York




It's one of those days. For the past two days my special needs child had been dragging her feet to school. Well, she's perfectly normal while we're getting ready at home - washing and dressing up, taking breakfast, jumping into the car, etc. But the moment we reach the school she would be reluctant to get out of the car. Somehow, for the last two days I had been able to drag her out and bring her to class. If we're on time we'll catch her class at the cafeteria having breakfast, if not, I'll have to climb two flights of steps up to the second floor to her classroom with her and sign her in at the school office there. Yesterday the school staff were somehow able to persuade her to finally go upstairs when breakfast time was over at the first floor. But it was a lot of persuasion. But once she's in class, according to the staff, she's been "good", i.e., she does her school work, unlike in the past when she would be pretending (?) to be sleepy and put her head down unto the desk to sleep. I have problems getting free parking in front of my daughter's school and about two weeks ago I finally got ticketed for illegally parking in front of her school, where there's a no-parking-no-standing sign, while bringing her in. It takes only 8-10 min., if a teacher doesn't talk to me about something. But in that 8-10 min. I got a parking violation ticket! I have challenged the ticket online, citing inadequate access for handicapped people to this school building, but it would be a matter of time for me to find out whether they would dismiss my case or not. Meanwhile, I have to pay it ($115) before it accrues penalty charges at a rate of $10 a month! In the mean time, I talked with a social worker from my daughter's healthcare provider, and I found out that I can apply for a "blue tag" which should enable me to park at the curb of a road and have access to disabled parking in commercial buildings. This one will take a long time as the basic requirement is for my daughter to have a non-driver photo ID before we can apply for it. That will be the first step I will have to make and today I just Googled how to do it. 


 Going back to today, I couldn't find free parking so, we had to park in a paid parking space along the main road nearest to her school, a good one block away from the gate of her school. So, I paid for 30-minute parking and displayed the ticket on the driver's side of the windshield, as required. Then my daughter wouldn't get out from the car. I thought, here we go again. Well, I finally got her out of the car with much persuasion, encouragement, promises of some "delicious" temptations, even threats of "reporting" her behavior to her dad, etc. So, we walked through the long block of houses, carefully evading the ice on the sides of the path (traces of Blizzard Nemo left in New York), and then we were almost at the road in front of her school and we could see the big gate and the big, grey building of her school. Then she stopped walking. She just couldn't be persuaded to keep walking. I thought, it's still a long way inside and at the rate we're walking we'll miss her class at the cafeteria, I'll end up walking all the way up to her classroom with her. With the amount of dragging I had to do the day before, I thought, oh, forget it. Let's just go home. I'm not gonna do this every day. This isn't really the first time she's missing school, but this is the first time she got so near to any school and we still have to turn back home. It doesn't help to think that we had to drop her older brother to school also today, because it had been so cold the past few days. He usually takes the public bus. But because I gave him a lift one extremely cold day before Nemo struck, we all realized it's not that difficult to send him as well, it only takes 7 extra minutes, and he wouldn't have to walk through the chilling winds and stand in the cold waiting for the bus. Because of that I actually studied the map so I could find another route that evades all the traffic lights we have to pass through going from his school to my daughter's school. I had tried it yesterday and it worked, so, today I was confident I'll do good time again, and we did, it's just that, it's like driving through a maze going through those residential roads and having to stop at stop signs at almost every junction. Well, at least, there's no traffic jam and we had to cross only three traffic lights instead of an endless series of them! Her school starts at 9am and we were at the parking at 8:47. Not bad, we had plenty of time to walk to her school IF I could make her walk through the gates and the hallways when we reached it! Oh well, today, we went to the playground instead. :)


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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D