look, ma, no tables!
More about the blog changes below, but first some uninteresting summing up of the past couple of weeks, which have been tremendously full.
The middle of term is always busy, with the greatest load of grading. In the past month I've had to grade nearly 300 papers, along with many, many homeworks and quizzes. I'm almost out from underneath that load now and the end of term is in sight.
On Palm Sunday I spoke at my parents' church
--the church I grew up in--as part of an ongoing Adult Education series they've had on Sunday mornings, addressing various topics in Christian ethics. I had been asked to talk about Christian approaches to peace, war, and violence. It seemed to go fairly well and the class asked very good, thoughtful questions, seeing the difficulties with application of just war criteria and the complexities of the context of the church as an alternative polis
Good Friday found us at St. Timothy's, our local Episcopal parish. We had looked into some evening services, but they generally were too late, given Claire's bedtime. The congregation was rather sparse, but their small male choir did a really good job. Claire and I wandered around the back a bit during the liturgy, looking at the stained glass and stations of the cross. The priest offered her communion, but we asked that he bless her instead. While I have no objections to young child communion, it isn't practiced in our own parish and, when Claire does begin to receive communion, we would like it to become a consistent part of her piety, rather than an occasional treat at the odd parish.
Holy Saturday was a beautiful day and we all went for a nice long outing in the morning, wandering around a nearby shopping district, looking in the windows. There's a store that sells far eastern art and Claire enjoyed looking at all of the carved animals. The shopkeeper also gave her a carved miniature wooden tulip, which seem to make her day.
Despite the sunny Saturday, Pascha turned out to be gloomy, with rain showers much of the day. Laurel was singing in choir for both morning services and the music was really quite glorious. I always like Pascha Sunday--all lilies and banners and music and children in new clothes. During the second service I brought Claire in to listen to the musical pieces and hymns, all of which she seemed to find delightful.
The rest of the day was spent at my parents' who hosted lunch and had invited a young couple who are attending their church while the husband completes seminary. My folks almost always have extra guests at holiday dinners when they know of people who are away from their families or single and alone.
I've been planning to redesign my blog for a while and had taken some pictures a bit ago and written up some CSS, but had never pulled it all together. After all the school work and other busy-ness of the past couple of weeks, I decided some web design could be a nice diversion and a well-deserved break from other activities. With a bit of help from Paulo
(regarding how to work around some of the odd kinks of IE), I think I've successfully abandoned tables and transformed the blog into CSS. Let me know about any problems (though if you're still using Netscape 4, consider a new browser first).
In any case, I've got to get back to grading and some other projects that have been pushed to the back burner while more immediately pressing matters were dealt with.