Tag Archives: words

Geometry Oops!

Earlier this week, I was assisting with a geometry class where students were preparing for a test. The review included various “centers” of triangles like incenters, circumcenters, centroids, and orthocenters. I asked the teacher a question and we were interrupted by a girl pointing to a problem and asking loudly, “Isn’t that one a circumcision?”
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The teacher and I both paused in surprise and I tried my utmost not to laugh as other students started giggling and the girl turned pink, realizing what she said. The teacher handled it admirably, “No,” he said carefully, “But it is a circumcenter.”

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Lows & Highs: 2/4-2/12/13

1. Tuesday night at class, I spent the first hour doing the administrative work of testing instead of the teaching work I love. I was grateful to have my assisting teacher there and she cheerfully went through the planned activity with the class until I could get there. I did enjoy getting to teach and interact with students during the second half of the class, though.

2. I keep growing frustrated – mostly at myself – for being unable to do everything on my to-do list. Between my own expectations and those of others, my to-do list grows long in a hurry and I am still unskilled at delegating and telling people “no.” I keep forgetting that God gives me enough time to accomplish everything He wants me to do but not necessarily to do everything I think I must do.

1. Friday night at class, I taught a lesson based on drawing your own family tree and got all but one of my fifteen students chattering enthusiastically and practicing their English!

2. On a shopping trip in a nearby city with my parents, we accomplished all our errands and went to Panda Express and Starbucks! Oh, and my dad decided to join Twitter while we were on that shopping trip. So far he doesn’t tweet but treats it more like a personalized news feed.

What were your lows and highs from the past week?

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

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2012 Theme Word: Undaunted

My theme word for 2012 leapt out at me from John 16:33 (Amplified), “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”

My thought process went something like this: ‘Undaunted,’ that’s a good word. Whoa, wait a minute, God. You don’t mean that’s my word for the year do You? I don’t think I like it anymore. Let’s do another one like ‘liberty’ from last year. That was nice. ‘Undaunted’ is a tough word and I get nervous just thinking about what kind of year You may be preparing me for if that is my theme word… which is pretty much the opposite of ‘undaunted,’ huh? Okay, I guess I will be learning what it means to be undaunted this year.

I researched the etymology of undaunted and its root word daunt:
un|daunt|ed (adj)
1. undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort.
2. undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear; intrepid.

daunt (v)
1. to overcome with fear; intimidate.
2. to lessen the courage of; dishearten.
From the Latin domitare, ‘to tame.’

Undaunted means choosing to be untamed by fear or intimidation. It means not retreating when scared, not letting fear or discouragement rule me.

Many times this year, I returned to Philippians 4:13 (Amplified), “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.]” and 1 John 4:18 (TLB) “We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; His perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what He might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what He might do to us, and shows that we are not fully convinced that He really loves us.”

I learned that living an undaunted life is more about God’s faithfulness than it is about me. I need to know Him more deeply because He is the reason I can and should be undaunted.

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InstaFriday: Trying New Things

I have been busy with my normal life stuff and working on my Teacher Work Sample but I have been trying a few new things.

With all the below-freezing nights we have had here in Kansas lately, I made an attempt to bring some of my herb garden inside. Left to right: Mint was already in this pot, so I think it stands a good chance of survival. Parsley and rosemary will start from cuttings plus rooting hormone, according to my research, and so far they look okay. Chives are a type of bulb, I think, so I split the bunch in my garden and transplanted part of it (this approach has worked for me before).

I am also trying out washi tape* on some of the artsy pages of my journal.

In writing classes, they tell you to "Show, don't tell" which, come to think of it, is kind of ironic.Some of my best adventures began with "I don't really want to go but I know I need to" and ended with "I'm so glad I went."

What experiments or new-to-you products have you tried recently?

*Essentially decorative masking tape that originated in Japan.


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31 Days of Random Questions – Day 29

How did you get your name? What does it mean?

My parents told me they gave me the only name they agreed on at the time: Abby.

Not Abigail, just Abby, because Dad thought Abigail sounded prissy and he did not want a prissy daughter. It did not really help, but he did try and I was eventually nurtured out of the prissiness.

I get amused when people occasionally call me Abigail. It does not bother me – I view it as a nickname. If they ask, though, I smile and tell them I’m Abby, not Abigail, but they can call me either one.

Abby comes from Abigail which means “my father is joy” or “my father’s joy,” depending on how you translate the original Hebrew.

If you don’t know what your name means, I suggest these two sites:


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What is “quiet time”?

“Quiet time” is a churchy or religious term for time spent alone with Jesus. Common activities during this time are reading the Bible, prayer, writing in a journal, and listening to or singing worship music. For a variety of reasons, some people have moved away from using this term in recent years. To some people it has been overused, to some it sounds far more boring than it is, to some it simply is not a good description of what it is: time spent with Jesus. My dad calls it “God time,” I call it “quality time with Jesus,” another friend calls it “sweet time with Jesus!” (always with an exclamation point). What do you call it?

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