Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The endodontist finished up a root canal on me yesterday so if I sound crankier than usual, that's why.

Community Bible Study this year covers Job first in six weeks. I missed the first session because the kids' public school was unexpectedly closed due to mold. Then I missed last week's session because I chauffeured and chaperoned my son's field trip to Poricy Park in Lincroft to hunt fossils. I've kept up with the study guide work, even for weeks I missed. However, I have read only those pericopes with related study guide questions, so, to get the whole picture, I need to read all the rest of Job.

I'm not agreeing with the commentary in the study guide. It seems to project all sorts of motives upon the actors that I don't find justified. Who's to say? Maybe I just read too irenically. Too many years experience reading on the 'Net, maybe. Don't jump to conclusions. Perhaps after reading the whole text and another commentary I'll come to agree. Really, I'd be surprised if I don't come around to their view as I usually do.

At this point, I'm pretty convinced that the discourses in Job predate the final book and were borrowed maybe from another work. The thoughts in them don't quite fit. It's like that prayer in Jonah 2: a poem in search of a narrative. How far is my perspective from that of the commentary writer's who believes the actors were so thoughtful in their heartfelt words that they bothered spoke in poetry like Shakespeare!

My small group leader from two years ago was absent so I shot her an email. She's moved to PA near the state capital. She said it all happened really fast for her husband's job. Many, many people are moving out of state. I hope the attrition stops soon. But besides that she was a very down-to-earth person. This year's small group leader is different from her but little different from last year's. A couple of particpants from last year's group are also with me again. But mostly everyone is new to me. We meet in the library but there are too many to sit comfortably around the large table. So we sit uncomfortably in chairs lining the four walls, using our laps as our tabletop. I like having things laid out but with this arrangement I can only fit my workbook across my thighs. I won't be volunteering to read aloud from the text!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The boys' school will open Monday. Mold was discovered by the new principal more than midway through August. There'll always be the question of how long the mold had been present before being detected. Working parents were too consumed with scrambling for child care to ask hard questions of the administration. I've come to accept that they're only going to tell you what they're going to tell you and nothing more. Somehow they've turned it around such that asking affects your credibility more than their non-answers affect theirs.

The board president has posted to Facebook Tuesday that teachers would appreciate the community's help in preparing their rooms. I called the school Wednesday to see about bringing in the boys for that. Whoever answered the phone - and I can't be sure - said I'd be getting a call about the delayed school opening and to make arrangements for the kids for the next couple of days.

Realizing that the school would make up these unexpected days off at some point, perhaps cutting into Spring Break, I decided to treat the boys to some fun. I also agreed to host one of my son's classmates for the day because his parents work. We all went down to Jenkinson's Boardwalk because everything is open this week. But the little bit of rain we got that morning meant the carnival rides could not operate. We visited the aquarium and played mini-golf at the Castaway Cove Adventure Golf, my first time there. We ate at the Pavilion on the boardwalk and I had an awful experience.

To place my order, I had to get the attention of two members of the waitstaff who were chitchatting in a somewhat intimate way. It was a large order - for four kids! - but I got the staff to understand what I wanted and not to make any substitutes. One of them began a tray for my order and placed the drinks on it. For a long time, nothing else was added to the tray but more customers came to the counter, ordered and received their food, usually fries and pizza. At one point, I could not believe, a cook placed a small cup of fries on my tray and a customer who had just ordered her food took it off my tray and placed it on her own tray with her slice of pizza and she had the audacity to say, "Yeah, I'm still missing part of my order." As if I was standing there for my health. Once she touched the cup of fries, well, I wasn't going to ask her to return them. But, see, she was there with a friend, so she couldn't be a drag. I didn't bother getting anything for myself.

But the kids always need refills on their drinks so, as my daughter had to use the restroom, I sent the youngest boy back up with money for more milk. Now, he's polite or timid, whatever you want to call it, but even when we returned, he hadn't been waited on. And he just wanted a carton of milk, quick and easy! So I just went ahead of asked for the milk, regardless of who was next in line. And they were annoyed but they got it to get rid of me, I suppose. I told Jeff afterwards and he said, "Squeaky wheel." He's right.