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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Swine Flu

Sometimes, I can't believe what a baby I am.

Yesterday I felt lousy, and the lousy feeling increased as the day wore on. Fluey, you know. Feverish, stomach churning, no energy, achey.....in short, I had the flu.

Which, when you read it, sounds like "ho hum". Except that when you're used to feeling fairly good and energetic, like I am, is kind of a sign that the world is ending. By the evening, I'd convinced myself that I had swine flu and I was counting my accumulated vacation and sick days. What a baby.

Of course, by the time I had woken up this morning after a good night's sleep, all was, thank goodness, behind me, and I was ready for my morning cuppa. But once again, I'm reminded of how important it is to say "thank you" every once in awhile for our good health. Even something as mundane as the flu (swine or otherwise) can really stop a person in their tracks....how much more so a chronic illness, or a serious disability. We just don't appreciate good health when God gives it to us.

The last week has been very busy. My 6th grader is finishing elementary school this year, and there are all the ceremonies and plans that accompany that event.

Last week, we sat in the school's courtyard for the final party. The kids had been practicing a play, based on the story of Shmuel-the-Prophet, for many weeks, and we were treated to a real theatrical performance of about an hour, complete with dancing, singing, dialogue, and even "special effects" (goats grazing during a pastoral scene, a pony which was walked through the stage when a king arrived, etc).

This kind of performance is quite a regular occurence in Israeli schools. Israeli kids learn to perform from kindergarten, and the ability to organize these performances is a major requirement of Israeli educational staff. I've never seen a stage-frightened Israeli kid....they all take these performances for granted, and will get up in front of an audience at the drop of a hat. I've often thought that it's one reason that Israelis, in general, are so "in-your-face" -- it's a learned behavior that stems from these school experiences.

I saw in the audience of parents with my soon-to-be mechatunim, the parents of my son's fiancee, whose son is graduating this year as well. In addition, I chatted with parents whose older kids had gone to school with my older kids, and with teachers who had taught all my kids, and with whom I'd taught english as part of the school staff a dozen years ago. (Discussing the experience of teaching in an Israeli school is one that would take, not only it's own blog, but it's own encyclopedia!). A true small-town evening.

One thing that I was particularly grateful for was the existence of digital cameras. I filmed a good bit of Gal's performance, and she was thrilled to review the clip on the camera afterward. But as soon as she headed off on her class trip, she was just as happy to erase that clip and replace it with new pictures, and I was pleased that I hadn't wasted too much money paying for film development.

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