First week of Advent

My little Kazakh in native garb

It’s that time again when I put out the Advent wreath and teach Veeka the Christmas countdown. This year was kind of fun in that I bought a wreath that was pink and purple (Advent colors) and had 33 Cardinal & Cream (the student newspaper) students over for a big Advent party bash at my home on Monday. It was the first party I had at my new digs and it went rather well, if I say so myself. Ordering about $350 worth of food didn’t hurt either.

Veeka reading the Bible to her doll students

And things are winding down at school. Finals are next week and I’m already saying good-bye to students who are taking off for the holidays. I am struggling with the computer program for ordering books for next semester, as I was supposed to have my “book adoptions” done weeks ago. But I’ve had the worst time deciding which textbooks to order. None of the beginning journalism selections are what I want. I have to use bits and pieces from various books to cobble together a course. So many of the books are into ‘convergence’ which is basically how everything is going digital. Am not sure one needs several chapters of a textbook to say the obvious. What I need most are chapters on how to write, copy edit and know basic grammar.

Veeka and cousin Carley, who's expecting a little girl

Veeka is holding her own. One bright spot last week is we finally discovered some little people who live around the corner and who (joy!) attend her school. Finally some friends down the street. The lack of friends has been a real cross for her to bear. There’s one girl her age a few houses away whose parents never let her out of the house. When I knocked on their door one day, the whole family stared at me as though I was a space alien. Veeka had one friend at her previous school who lives close by but since Veeka’s left there, the girl never calls her. That child’s family knows how lonely Veeka is but…out of sight, out of mind. It’s hard to be sanguine about such treatment when you’re having to hold your daughter as she cries about no one liking her. And so, as you can see above, she ends up setting up a ‘classroom’ for her dolls. And one other bright spot that is my answer to Kate and William’s royal baby announcement: Veeka’s cousin Carley, pictured above, just found out that her new arrival next April will be a girl.

First candle lit