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2010 Week 16

April 23, 2010

Missing: the past week.  Where did it go?

I picked up my new lens, a canon 50mm f1.4 on Friday.  Happy finishing taxes present to me!

Then, we headed out for dinner + drinks to celebrate the fact that Jason has held down a job for the past year 1 year anniversary of Jason’s start date at his current employer.  I took pictures of the event, and was especially excited that my new lens made it possible to grab decent photos of our friends inside the restaurant – with my kit lens, I would have had to turn on the flash, which is like totally a photographer no-no. I’m still trying to figure out what settings I prefer – this camera has the potential to have a much much smaller depth of field (meaning that only a small bit of my subject could be in focus) than my kit lens, so I’m digging playing around with it.  But it’s tricky, because many times I’m unable to see exactly what is in/out of focus until I get the camera connected to the computer.  If anyone has tips on what settings they like to use for portraits, etc, I’d love to hear them!

Last weekend was kind of an exercise in laziness, although I did make it to church, so I think that might be something to brag about.  I’m We’re in the process of auditioning new churches.  The first one missed the mark based on the priest’s sermon and the fact that I felt like I was in the basement of an obscure warehouse, not a church.  The second one was lovely, but I can’t go back after realizing that I don’t agree with some of the things the church does/does not support.  It was a big letdown; the people were so nice, and the sermon was excellent.  Sigh.  Next time.

This past week was my class’ first exam, and based on the grades, I think it’s fair to say that I might have taught someone something in the past 4 weeks.  Success!

I’ve also returned to teaching the after-school elementary science classes, and I had a super-heartbreaking moment this week.  My current topic for these classes is nutrition, and as part of the lesson, I ask the kids to cook their own imaginary dinner using one food item from each food group.  Since I had a large class last week, I had them partner up and tell their partner what they’d cook.  I partnered up with a shy little boy, probably a first-grader, and asked him what he would cook for dinner.  He said, “I don’t get food at home.” And then my heart broke into a million pieces and we talked about what he liked to eat for school lunch instead.

I’ve heard about children from low-income schools who only eat what they’re given at school.  But, to be perfectly honest with you, I never ever imagined that I would meet one of these kids in my own community.  And even though I felt horrified about this kid’s situation, he didn’t seem to think anything of it.  Like it was just normal.  And, oh, I wish he didn’t have to live like that, where going hungry for the weekend is just a normal part of life.

I’m not sure how you move onto more light-hearted topics from there, but if there’s any way to do it, it’s gotta be with a picture of the Jezekiller.  Seriously.  Look at that face.  She’s ferocious!  (Please make a growlgrowl noise in your head while looking at this picture, because she’s undoubtedly telling her brother that he’s gonna get it.) Note the vice grip of her paws on his head.  She does this to my leg sometimes, too.

Yikes.  We’ll end this one on a more friendly note, lest you think we’re starting a dog-fighting ring up in here.

Our plans for the weekend include grilling out with some new friends, grading papers, playing with the new camera lens, and homebrewing.  We’re taking a quiet weekend because next weekend will be action-packed.  Anyone else have plans for a quiet weekend?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2010 1:54 pm

    I have a 50mm 1.8 lens. I find that I’m better served going up 2-3 stops into the 2’s or 3.2 most of the time. I’ll do 1.8 if I have a still subject (sleeping cat) or very low light (to avoid going up to 1600ISO). I also got a lightscoop, so that has helped me keep my ISO down and f-stop above 1.8 inside the house at night. I have some pictures taken at 1.8 that look fine on the display and ok when scaled down, but at 100% size on the computer the focus is not as sharp. I’m not sure if this is my skills or the camera, but I’m not terribly concerned since it only looks soft when zoomed in.

    I’m hoping to get a 28 or 35mm as my next lens, but boy do they get pricey!

  2. Tami permalink
    April 23, 2010 1:55 pm

    Regarding your hungry little guy (and possibly others in your class). If the budget permits, how about planting a small community vegetable garden at school that can be enjoyed by all the kids? OR… pots of beans/tomatoes/whatever that they could take home. Kind of science-y, fun and filling all at the same time.

  3. mom permalink
    April 23, 2010 5:58 pm

    Looks like that lens is already a good investment. I can see you are going to get some great shots with it!

    This weekend is taxes for me but I would guess I will not have anything left to buy myself a present!

  4. jayne permalink
    April 24, 2010 1:04 am

    I second Tami’s idea. Our local school district has begun making sack suppers for the kids to take home with them in the evenings and on weekends. It is heartbreaking indeed. We also have a community garden but are having trouble getting enough volunteers to keep it going. We’re thinking of adopting a Habitat for Humanity approach and have families tend their own plots. Love the photos of the “killer” dogs–one of my cats and my dog play-fight like that and it’s so funny to watch. They’re best friends.

  5. GGG permalink
    April 24, 2010 8:30 am

    Looks like we’re having a quiet weekend too. It’s raining so the outdoor work has come to a halt! Nice pictures. I especially like the one of Jason.

  6. April 24, 2010 10:47 am

    Your pictures are amazing! What kind of camera do you have? It is so sad about kids going hungry in our so called “civilized” society. Do you guys have food banks or soup kitchens in your community?

  7. mom permalink
    April 24, 2010 12:17 pm

    I wonder if some of the kids not eating at home has more to do with parents not taking care of them and less to do with a lack of money or resources for food. Maybe the kids are left home at night to fend for themselves and the parents just don’t bother to make sure there is something at home for them to eat. In that case, is there any way to solve the problem?

  8. April 24, 2010 12:26 pm

    Mr. B and I are planning on having a quiet weekend as well. We have to go to a wedding in AL next weekend, so I have to start studying for finals this weekend. We went to Mr.B’s medical school class formal last night and are unfortuantely just getting up (it’s almost noon). So we’ll see how much we get done :). I hope you have a blessed weekend! XOXO

  9. April 24, 2010 1:03 pm

    Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It sounds like you and I are kindred spirits – angel babies, auditioning new churches, love of children, and just a teeny dog obsession! Are your dogs Pittie Bulls or Pittie/Boxer mixes of some sort? My husband and I love Pit Bulls – my parents have two.

    About kids with limited food resources or food neglect issues – I had a student this year who would steal food, constantly asked when snack was, when lunch was, etc. The clincher came, however, when she was served dog food in her lunch. When asked more, she said, “I don’t KNOW why I have dog food in my lunch! I haven’t been bad lately…” Heartbreaking. Did you report the 1st grader to child services?

    Again, thanks for stopping by my blog. It is a bit morbid – but I must admit that it helps to know that I am not alone….

  10. April 24, 2010 9:54 pm

    I got a 50mm 1.8 a few weeks ago. I agree about going up a few stops… though if you really fill the frame, you can use the higher aperture. That’s just what I’ve found, I am a total amateur trying to figure things out!

  11. April 26, 2010 3:58 pm

    The photos with your new lens are wonderful – in fact I wondered who the new man was – didn’t recognize Jason!!!

    I have the 50mm 1.8 lens and love it.

    Hope you find a new church home soon – church shopping is no fun.

    We had a quiet weekend here (hubby on-call at the hospital), but next weekend if his birthday, so we have arranged a night away at a lovely hotel (without the kids!)

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