Saturday, January 05, 2008

Spring Semester

I haven't posted in a long while, but at least (unlike Stoberg) my page can still be found. * Spring semester begins Monday. In my experience the spring semester is always better than the fall semester. * I have had a good break. Got some much needed rest. I was getting worn out there toward the end of the fall semester - partly because I traveled out of town four Saturdays in a row in November and December to watch Eagle football, which made for short weekends to rest up before the next week.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's a great day to be an Eagle!

Just read where I got spanked by both my daughters at the end of July for not posting beyond one sentence at the first of that month. Today's read was the first time I had seen those comments, and here it is almost September. * We are off and running at The High. Well, I don't know if we are running yet, but we are definately off. I have 160 some odd students for Jr. and Sr. English, and most of them seem like fine, polite, nice, interesting young people who I look forward to getting to know. On the first day of school I handed something to one of my Jr. boys and he said "thanks homes." "Yeah," I responded, "we're going to be a bit more formal than that." "Oh, sorry," he said, "thanks homey." I did not get on to him for this because I thought he has a quick wit, and besides, I did say we're going to be a bit more formal, which his response was. * There are many good people at Abilene High(staff and students), and I am happy to be there. I especially enjoy eating lunch with Kate and other English teachers every day, and of running into Kate at random times in the office or teacher work room.

Friday, July 06, 2007


After an almost one year absence from blogging, I am back.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Home again

Home again home again jiggity jog. This is what my Mamaw Holland would always say when she arrived home from a trip. * It is good to be back where life is comfortable and easy. (I had to show my passport at approximately ten different security checkpoints before I was able to board the plane in Tel Aviv.) I was in a jetlagged lethargy most of yesterday, but am feeling better today. * Am headed to the Walterses' to babysit my sweet grandbaby while Summer does some interior design consulting. * Thanks to all readers for taking this trip with me. Thanks especially for your thoughts, prayers, and comments. Love, KP

Monday, July 03, 2006

Promoting Peace

Monday, 3 July. 7:21 p.m. Writing from a hostel in Tel Aviv. * This morning at 6:30 I decided to take one last walk through the narrow, serpentine lanes of Old City Jerusalem before catching a cab for Tel Aviv. Few people were out yet, so I expected it to be peaceful and nice. I was about half way to the north entrance of the West Wall when I passed two IDF soldiers going the other way. Following shortly after them were six Orthodox Jews wearing side ringlets, hats, and prayer shawls. They were carrying holy books. Perhaps they had been to the West Wall for an early prayer. Ahead of me I heard angry words. An Arab man on a trash collecting tractor and trailer had evidently turned in front of a Jewish man, part of the earlier group who had fallen behind. Quickly the men went from yelling to shoving. The Arab man jumped off his tractor in an angry, defiant manner and the two men started trading punches. I turned around and whistled loudly for the soldiers, then ran down to the men and jumped between them, yelling "No! No!" I got them seperated with strong pushes to each chest and then stood between them with arms extended until the soldiers ran down and took control. As they were checking ID's I picked up the Jewish man's glasses and handed them to him before they were stepped on. With the soldiers distracted by radioing identification information into headquarters the two men continued occasionally to trade insults. I gave the Jewish man the universal sign for "chill out"; two hands palms toward him with a raising of the eyebrows and a slight shake of the head. After awhile the soldiers headed up the street with the two men in custody. * I continued my walk and shortly saw an Arab man hiding behind a corner and pissing on the threshold through which the Jews must walk to get to the West Wall entrance. Thresholds are very important in the Jewish religion, and this man was making sure that each Jew who walked by must pass over his urine. Later, as I was riding out of the Old City through the Jaffa Gate, the last thing I saw was two policewomen stopping an old Arab woman and going through her bags. -There is a good deal of ill will and unrest here. * This afternoon I swam in the Medeterranian Sea. I have finished my responsibilities on the dig, and have done what I can to promote peace between the Arabs and Jews. I guess my work here is done. I fly back to the U.S. tomorrow.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Christ Church

Sunday, 12:40 p.m. I just came from a nice worship service at Christ Church. Built in the 1840's, it is the oldest Protestant church in Israel. Before going to church Jason and I walked to the Temple Mount. I touched the Western Wall, the holiest site in all of Judaism. We then climbed up to the Dome of the Rock, the third most holy site in Islam. This is the place from which Muhammad supposedly ascended to heaven. I took pictures and touched it also.* My time here in Jerusalem has been fascinating, but the fact that many places are disputed negates much of the excitement of seeing them. There are at least two places which claim to be the upper room where Jesus ate the last supper with his disciples. ((Interruption: there is a mosque near here, and I am now hearing the call to prayer.)) There is also a dispute as to the location of Golgatha. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is built on the traditional site. It is only two hundred yards from Jaffa Gate Hostel where I am staying, and where I am writing this. I plan to walk to that church as soon as I post this writing. * At church this morning we were only a few words into the first hymn when I got choked up and could no longer sing, because there are some things which are beyond dispute. Jesus loves me, and he loved this city. He was crucified and buried here so that I might know God and have eternal life. The tomb into which they put him could not hold him. And one day he is coming back. Awesome. I wish he would come back while I am here, but he will have to hurry because I leave tomorrow. Yo Gabriel, get out your horn. Time's a wasting.

Friday, June 30, 2006

O Jerusalem!

Greetings from Jerusalem! Arrived here yesterday evening around 5:00. Checked into the Casa Nova hotel inside the walls of the old city near the Jaffa Gate. It is a church/monastary/pilgrim's hotel built by the Italians in the early (I think) 1900's. Beautiful place. Everyone there, including all of the guests I have seen, speak Italian. * I am writing this from the Jaffa Gate Hostel, where I plan to stay the 1st and 2nd. (Could only get Casa Nova for two nights.) It is quite a bit scruffier, but okay. Located in a beautiful part of the city. Walk out the front door and see the Tower of David. * Am hanging out with four dig team members. Last night I sat with one of them on the roof of the Petra Hostel and enjoyed a nice visit while overlooking the Old City. Church of the Holy Sepulchre only a fungo shot away. (Not one of my shots; one of Stover's.) Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock about as close as when I stand in my front yard and look over at the bell tower at ACU. Amazing. I was fearful that I had unrealistic expectations of Jerusalem because everyone I have spoken to has said it is the most amazing place. But they were correct - it is amazing. * It does, however, resemble a war zone in that machine gun toting young people are everywhere. Most are wearing uniforms of the IDF, but some are not. There are many tour groups of American Jewish highschoolers here. Each tour group has their own guard. Some guards look like sixteen year old mall rats, complete with flipflops, torn jeans, t-shirt and baseball cap - except that they are casually carrying large, black automatic rifles. * The peace of last night's rooftop visit was shattered by a boom. I flinched involuntarily and looked behind to where it had come from. Fireworks were being shot over the Tower of David. I told Jason that at times like these I wish they would give a person a warning before shooting off fireworks. * This morning I saw the room where the Last Supper occured, saw Shinleder's grave, and walked bent over for 40 minutes in the cold spring water through Hezekiah's Tunnel. (Google search for info. on this.) * My best to all.