Monday, August 17, 2009

Big Changes...

This has been a week of big changes for me. Last Tuesday I completed nine years of employment at Southwestern Seminary. (I can't believe I forgot to get a picture of my last day at SWBTS - what was I thinking?! ) Yesterday I started my new job as Assistant to the Headmaster (Dr. Wolfe) and chaplain to girls at the Cambridge School of Dallas. Everyone has been very welcoming, and of course Dr. Wolfe put me right to work. At least I don't have to prove myself to the boss! I have a tiny office, but I'm starting to make it feel like home with some of my books and photos. Tomorrow we have in-service and school starts on Monday, so I'm certainly hitting the ground running! I will be filling in for one of the math teachers in her Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry classes a good bit this semester as she undergoes chemo and radiation - talk about going outside your comfort zone! I love math, but I've never taught it, and it sure has been a while since I've done any higher math. Should be interesting! Thursday night is Convocation (or Back to School Night) where I'll get introduced to the entire Cambridge community, including both parents and students. I think I'm really going to like it here!

As for the apartment, the move did not go quite as smoothly as the job transition. Mom, Dad, and Ben were supposed to fly in on Thursday night to help with the move. Well, that didn't happen - they sat at the airport for several hours Thursday evening and then all day Friday waiting for a flight (they were going standby), and finally gave up and drove to Alabama instead. I was quite disappointed, and frustrated for them that they had wasted all that time, but oh well. The movers I hired were great - if you are ever moving, I highly recommend Midnight Movers. They moved me out of one apartment, drove 40 minutes to the new one, and moved me into my new second-floor apartment in 3.5 hours! It would have taken my friends and me all day! They would pick up a piece of heavy furniture like it was made of styrofoam! Kristen, Rachel, Amanda, and Norman were a great help with the moving and cleaning my old apartment, and Mrs. Wolfe came over on Saturday to help set up and unpack. I couldn't have done it without all of them!
The movers couldn't get my HEAVY couch through the kitchen doorway, so they took it out the front door and hefted it over the fence! Thanks, Kristen, for photographing the moment on your iphone! :)
I like my new apartment - it seems quite large and open, and once I stop decorating with cardboard boxes it might start feeling like home. Unfortunately the air conditioner has had some issues since I moved in - it doesn't want to cool. And in Texas in August, that's bad! I've called them several times, and it finally started working better in the middle of the night last night. I hope it is finally fixed and will keep me cool, because unpacking makes me work up a sweat!
Above: my building - I'm the apartment at the top of the stairs
Below: the complex and one of the 3 swimming pools

So, that's the latest on my life. Work at CSD during the day, home to unpack boxes and sweat in the evenings. Eventually I'll replace the unpacking with work on the dissertation - it's not writing itself! I'll post pics of the inside of the apartment and my office once I get settled and unpacked. Hopefully that will be soon!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Heads or Tails? HEADS!

You may remember my photos from last year's Barnum & Bailey Elephant Walk - we ended up "behind the scenes" with a tail-end view of the pachyderm parade (incidentally, I have a lot of pictures of animal butts: camels, zebras, elephants - my friend Amy suggested I make a collage!).

Well, this year I was wiser - we got there earlier and knew which side of the street to stand on. Unfortunately, there was a rather significant crowd, but Rachel, Amy, Amanda and I pressed our way in there with everyone else to watch the six circus elephants chow down on their buffet of lettuce, apples, bananas, bread, carrots, hay, and watermelon. This year's view was so much better!

And while we were downtown, we did a little "clowning around". :)

Did you know ...

...that elephants only have 4 teeth, but they weigh 12 pounds each!?
...that elephants get freckles on their trunk as they age?
...both male and female elephants have tusks, though the females' tusks are quite short.

The End!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Photos by Michele

Since I'm leaving SWBTS (at least as an employee), I wanted to have some good pics of me here. Thankfully, Michele is the proud new owner of a brand new digital SLR camera, and she was happy to play photographer for a little while on a hot and humid Texas Friday night. I was really pleased with the pics she got - she stood on benches and did everything possible to use a flattering angle, and it worked! I actually LIKE these pics of me! (And that is shocking, because I usually don't like pics of me at all.) Here are my favorites... When we finished at the seminary, we headed off to try and find this train track that Courtney had told me about. Unfortunately, we weren't able to find it, but we did stop at a grove of trees and take a few more shots.

Thanks, Michele! Love the pics!

Change, It Is a'Coming!

Oh, the changes going on in my life right now!

You have probably heard by now, but I have submitted my resignation to Southwestern Seminary, effective August 11 (next Tuesday). After nine years of service, including seven in the Biblical Studies Division office, I am moving to a new position at the Cambridge School of Dallas. CSD is a classical Christian school, grades 6-12, and I will be serving as Administrative Assistant to the Headmaster (Dr. Wolfe, my former boss at SWBTS) as well as chaplain to female students (though that part may be unofficial to start off). I hope that in future years I can move more into teaching, but this is a great way to get my foot in the door and really get more involved with student ministry, which is where my heart and calling truly is. I can't wait to start my new job on the 17th!

Of course, with the new job also comes the necessity of a move, since it's just too far of a commute from my apartment in Fort Worth. I think I have found a new apartment complex - I go up to view the specific unit I would be renting on Thursday afternoon, and if all works out, I will move the following weekend.

As for church, I hate to leave Wedgwood - it's my home and my family, and I truly love that church. But I am realistic, and know that driving 40 minutes on a Sunday morning is not ideal. I also know that I will really not be happy if I can't be active in the music ministry, even if I'm not able to direct my children's choir, so I will eventually begin looking for a new church in the area that I will be living in. But I'm thinking one change at a time - I'm committed to staying at Wedgwood through September, and after that I'll reevaluate and make some decisions.

All in all, life is really in flux for me right now. But it's all exciting, and I'm thrilled with the way God is moving and working out the details. One of my coworkers told me today that I look like a different person because I'm so happy. I will say that I feel an enormous sense of relief and thankfulness that this new job has worked out - last semester was a rough one, but I believe that God used that to prepare me to be willing and ready to jump out of my SWBTS comfort zone and into a new position that he has prepared for me.

And for those that are wondering, don't worry, this does not mean I'm quitting school - I WILL finish my dissertation, and then you can call me "Dr. Barb"! :)

Reflections on Fort Worth

In our time exploring Fort Worth, we ended up taking a lot of pics of reflections. I was taking pics of St. Patrick's, the really cool old church, and when I turned around to walk farther out for a distance shot I saw the church reflected in the windows of the Fort Worth Convention Center. This is the photo that started it all. After that, we started looking for reflections, and had a grand time taking pics that we might never have noticed before.

Love how this round window made us look tall and skinny!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Camera Playdate

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was just itching to take pics. One of my favorite things to do is be a "tourist" in my own town - going into downtown Fort Worth and just taking pics of all sorts of random things/places that characterize the city. Well, I knew Amy would be up for joining me, so we hit the town with our cameras in tow.

First stop, a cool old building called the Public Market. I don't think it's used for anything anymore, but it's got really cool tile-work and brick.

Heading further into downtown, we happened upon St. Patrick's, a beautiful old church right in the middle of all these really modern buildings. We took lots of pics outside, and then Amy tried the doorknob and it opened, so we went in - GORGEOUS! Reminded me a lot of sight-seeing in Europe.

After we left the church, we walked over to the Water Gardens, taking pics of other interesting sights along the way.
I titled this one "City, State, and Country"
We spent a little while walking around the Water Gardens, and even went down into the main fountain. It's always a little nervewracking walking down those steps, because they're not really wide enough for two people to pass.
After meeting some other friends for dinner downtown, we decided to walk around and get some night shots of the cool buildings and signs that make up downtown Fort Worth. I just LOVE this town - it's got so much character!
(I was standing in the middle of the road for this pic, and got a little nervous with the car coming at me, so I moved before the shutter closed. This is what I ended up with. Not exactly my plan, but it's kinda cool!)