Sunday, March 27, 2005

Our Easter

Last night our church held an Easter vigil that started with a bon fire outdoors and moved indoors to include people reading Bible stories while musicians performed background music. While one woman read the story of Noah, our daughters and a few other children acted it out (in costume with props and sets). The kids portrayed Noah's family as well as the animals. It was very cute.

This morning we attended Easter services, which were particularly packed due to all the "C & E Christians" attending ("Christmas and Easter"). The bell choir performed, as did the adult choir, as did brass musicians and percussionists from UND. The quality and variety of music both last night and this morning were truly impressive and inspiring. What a blessing that is to our church.

The girls were cute as can be in their matching new Easter dresses. Afterward we came home to a delicious meal prepared by my wife: ham, twice-baked potatoes, steamed asparagus, shrimp pasta salad, "fruit soup" (fresh fruit salad), hard-boiled eggs (of course), milk, and raspberry/chocolate pie for dessert. In a few minutes, I'm going to teach the girls to play the card game hearts. That should be either very fun or very frustrating!

It's nice to have a break from the daily routine to hang out with my family once in a while. Happy Easter to all who read this!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Here's a Little Easter Humor!

Look at that face! Posted by Hello

New Look for Web Site

I just spent an incredible amount of time over the past couple of days redesigning my Web site. Why? Because I was looking at another Web site and thought that it looked so much tidier than mine. And I'm on spring break from school, so I used some of the time that I should have been devoting to school work to working on the Web site. Silly. (Just imagine the time I would waste on the site if I actually knew HTML coding!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

American/Minnesotan History

I'm involved in a three-year grant-supported project for teachers of American history and literature. We're learning how to incorporate primary and secondary sources of Minnesota history in our teaching. We're also learning teaching techniques and activities to engage our students in their studies of the material.

I don't know if it sounds even remotely interesting the way I've described it, but it really is. I'm learning things I never knew about Minnesota history (I grew up in North Dakota) and the region where I now live and work. I'm naturally curious and find it fascinating to learn about the Native Americans and European explorers, traders, and settlers who interacted in this area. If I can pass even a portion of my enthusiasm on to my students, this three-year project will have been a success.

One of our guests at today's session was Dr. Anton Treuer, a trilingual professor of Ojibwa language and culture at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, MN. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable, but he is also very personable. He has an engaging public speaking manner that easily kept our attention as he told us about the history of Native Americans and public education, as well as the current status of Native languages. Our time with him was too short.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Quiz About Me

One of my students sent me to a site called QuizYourFriends where you can create a quiz about yourself for others to take. So I did! Test your knowledge of me by taking the quiz. To do so, go here.

March's Thought-Provoking Question(s)


Well, I have no Irish heritage, but I enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day with those who do . . . and experiencing Irish pride vicariously through them! What is your ethnic background? In what celebrations do you participate in order to honor your ethnic heritage?

I'll start: my ancestors came to the U.S. from Germany, Norway, and Sweden. I celebrate Syttende Mai, which is Norwegian for the 17th of May--the Norwegian equivalent of the American 4th of July. It recalls Norway's declaration of independence. My dad belongs to an organization called the Sons of Norway, and they celebrate Syttende Mai with Norwegian food, music, language, etc. I mostly just enjoy the food!

I also have enjoyed the Norsk Hostfest, a Scandinavian event held annually in Minot, North Dakota. Again, the Norwegian food is a big draw for me. In fact, even with my extended family, it is through food that I "know" my ethnic roots. I haven't been to Norway or Sweden yet, but I've been to Germany, and I remember the great food as well as any of the beautiful sights (and sites) I experienced.

Okay, your turn!