Tuesday, April 28, 2009

67 Things?

I heard on the radio a couple days ago that the average woman in America has 67 items in her purse. I like to believe that I'm not quite as high-maintenance as the women they were talking about, so I sat down to investigate. This is what I found:

9 pass-along cards (maybe i should actually give them away)
a small "Idaho" pin in the shape of a potato
one ponytail
postage stamps in $.94 and $.04 varieties
a DC Temple Visitor's Center card
grocery list
flyer from Cacao, a cute little chocolate shop we found in Bethesda
key to the church building
pink lip gloss
pens in blue, black, purple and green
one small bottle of Expo Dry Erase Board Cleaner
2 tithing slips
bronze-ish lip gloss
spare car key
an almost-empty pack of Orbit gum
one earring (i made it to church and then realized that I'd only put one of them in... so it ended up in the purse)
flyer for the Azalea Festival at the National Arboretum
flash drive
car keys
a gum wrapper
address book
classroom keys
DCA-ORD boarding pass from February
cell phone
old pay stub
wallet (you don't even want to know what's in that)
Target receipt
blood donation appointment card
tickets to an Orioles-Rays game and a Nationals-Marlins game

Nothing shocking except maybe the Dry Erase Board Cleaner. And it doesn't nearly add up to 67 (unless you count all the items in my wallet separately). So ladies, I'm interested. What random/funny/whatever things would we find in your purse? (Guys, too, if you're willing to admit that you have a man-purse.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


A colleague of mine has a couple kids at the school and lives near several others, so she drives a few of the students to school every day. One of these students has been in my history class for the past two years (I teach two different classes, not because he failed), so I've gotten to know him pretty well. He's a very bright student, pretty quiet and very talented overall. He's the student that I really have to plan my lessons for, making sure that I'm challenging him enough.

Yesterday morning, this colleague reported that during their morning commute, they had been discussing whow they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island. Apparently this student wanted to have me along "because she knows where everything is." When she reminded him that knowing geography might not be too crucial on a desert island, he told her that "Ms. Chamberlain just knows EVERYTHING."

I'm glad I've got someone fooled. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

See you soon.

"Shady Acres today?" I read the note passed to me from Heather, all the way across Hofstetter's physics classroom. I spent most of the lunch periods my senior year running with Heather to Albertson's or the local convenience store / cafe for typical high school food. (It grosses me out thinking about the quantities of tater tots we ate that year. And I wish that were a Napoleon Dynamite reference, but it's not. We probably ate tater tots twice a week.)

As I remember it, my friendship with Heather went back to 10th grade Algebra 2. Mr. Daley's 3rd period class. We suffered through a lot during that class. His hour-long slideshow of his trip to Ireland, accompanied by him on the fiddle (remind me never to do that to my classes). A mandolin accompaniment to "y is equal to x plus or minus the square root of..." whatever the rest of quadratic formula is. We knew a lot of the same people and had all the same classes, and it was fairly natural for us to become friends. By our junior year, we were inseparable: Heather, Amanda and me. Shopping, road-tripping, late-night movie dates with Chuck. Powder puff football, prom, morp and weekly "study sessions" for AP U.S. History that usually turned into pool/dart-throwing contests. Heather was a great friend - smart, witty and always ready to have fun.

Then, about a year and a half after we graduated from high school and went our separate ways, Heather was diagnosed with sarcoma. You all don't need the details of the past four and a half years, except to know that through everything, she remained the happy and spirited and beautiful friend I knew. I'm pretty good at complaining about everything wrong in my life, but I never saw Heather do the same. I have been so blessed to have this wonderful woman (friend, example) in my life and I know she will missed tremendously by all who loved her. I know that Heather has moved on from the pain and trials of this life, but that she is living still in the next, and I know that she will be reunited again with her family and friends. I can't answer the "why" question that I've been asking for the past couple of weeks, but I do know that the Lord has a purpose and that he is watching out for both Heather and for those who are left to mourn her.

Love you and miss you, Heather. See you soon.