Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankfulness: Week 1

A lot of friends are being grateful for something every day on Facebook and I wanted to join them over here. in some catch up. We have a lot to be thankful for, ________ living in Nigeria.

Why did I put a blank there? Well, there are just too many connecting words that fit. "Despite" and "even" might come to mind, but they're not very thankful; "because of" sounds more thankful; "especially" would suit the purpose well; "while" suggests that some of these things we can be thankful for here won't last and so we should enjoy them while we can. Pick your favorite or mad lib some more.

Nov 1 - I'm thankful for my father. That's an easy one because he was born Nov 1. Happy birthday, Pop! I'm thankful for a father who taught me to grin and bear with pain and keep working, who showed me you can be successful and play games occasionally at the office, and who made sure his kids knew they could come invade his office daily to spend a few minutes jabbering at him. I'm thankful for a father who taught me public speaking by precept and example - some of my best professional training. I'm always thankful when he takes the time to mention that he appreciates these blogs and status updates. Love you, Dad.

Nov 2 - I'm thankful for the new taxis!
There are two strata of taxis: at the high end you have cars like that kind that Joy and I usually hire and at the low end you used to have a ton and a half of motorcycle taxis. (No really. I used to count the number of motorcycles on the way to AUN as a data collection project and regularly counted over 600.)

When we got back this summer, we discovered that because of security fears in Nigeria, the government had transformed EVERY motorcycle taxi into a three-wheeled, awninged (I'm impressed that's a word) yellow mini car. Now that looks safe enough for a Baturi (whitey) to ride in! When I missed the AUN shuttle Friday morning and they wouldn't come back for me because he'd shut off his phone, I hobbled my way down the road to the roundabout, flagged down a cabbie and then a passerby to translate for me, and I made it to class just barely in time.

Nov 3 - I'm thankful for my haircut. Whenever it gets long and shaggy in the back, it bothers me. Joy gave both Prince and me a cut and we're very happy.

Nov 4 - I'm thankful for Halloween candy on fast Sunday [the Sunday I skip breakfast and lunch for religious purposes]. Prince decided he doesn't like Reese's Pieces anymore, so I get the whole bag to myself. Not only that, but the scale told me I have lost all the weight I gained in the States.

As a freebie, I'm thankful my son loves the alphabet and computers. He drew this out on Sunday. (It's a computer keyboard)

Nov 5 - I am thankful for a conversation I had with Pres. Ensign Thursday. She said she had been happy to discover I was the new economics department chair. I was pleased first of all because she was happy about it, but also because she hadn't known about it until the week before. That says something good about the shift in How Things Are Done at AUN in the last 2 years. Not every decision has to be made by the President.

Nov 6 - I'm thankful for Fraggles, Muppets, and other silly kid shows that heal my heart when angry students send very hurtful emails. I'm also thankful to have gotten such a very high score on my current favorite tower defence game (GemCraft Labyrinth). Now I don't feel like I have to spend more time trying to beat the high score. I've not only beaten it, I've whipped it, pulverized it, burned my initials into its shoulder with a poker, and poured lemon juice in its paper cuts. Now I just have to win the thing and I don't have to go to any more elaborate lengths to do so.

Nov 7 - I'm thankful for the best development economics class I've had yet. The lecture and discussion went wonderfully well today with nearly everyone in the class participating and so far I'm looking forward to awarding more As to a class than I've ever had the privilege of doing before, and almost as many Bs. It's great to end a long day teaching on such a high note.

Just for bonus points, I'm thankful today for: chicken and pineapple pizza Joy made; tender, spontaneous Princess kisses; and finally getting 5 stars on every song on Disney SingIt (with Joy's help and occasionally moving the difficulty down to easy).

Tomorrow I look forward to being thankful for a pain medicine stronger than codeine.