25 February, 2012

Admitting my weakness (just one of many)

In the interest of being transparent, I need you to tell you that I've not been looking forward to this weekend. David, my husband, flew to Shanghai yesterday for a professional development weekend. 

I feel a bit incompetent admitting that I hate him going away for just a weekend, because lots of my friends endure this for much longer and more often. That's probably why I'm hesitant to mention it here (that's the first reason I shouldn't complain). 

But the truth is we are really so much a team that it is hard to separate like this, even for a couple of days. We rely on each other a lot to do what we do. I particularly appreciate his partnership in parenting the boys. These guys aren't easy, they push us hard. Having a two-person team to deal with the assaults, makes it just a little easier.

The second reason why I really shouldn't complain is that in actual fact I've gone away more often than him in the last couple of years.

The third reason I shouldn't complain is that they are getting older and much more competent. Two of them even set up the majority of breakfast for us all this morning. (They didn't make my coffee, but that's probably expecting too much!)

So, let me get away from complaining and tell you what he's doing in China. This year he's teaching two AP subjects, physics and calculus. For all you non-Americans out there I need to explain. AP is short for Advanced Placement and the subjects count as credit for college. The curriculum is decided by a central board and the exams are marked (US=graded) by them too. Wikipedia gives this description:
The Advanced Placement (AP) program is a curriculum in the United States and Canada sponsored by the College Board which offers standardized courses to high school students that are generally recognized to be equivalent to undergraduate courses in college. Participating colleges grant credit to students who obtained high enough scores on the exams to qualify.
According to the Good Schools Guide International, it is "usually much more rigorous than the general course offerings. Advanced Placement classes are graded differently than other classes offered."[1] The most taken AP exam in 2008 was AP United States History with 346,641 students, and the least taken was AP Italian Language and Culture with 1,930 students.
It boosts their high school GPA and gives them a better chance of getting into college. I don't know how equivalent it is to the International Baccalaureate (IB), but a short internet search reveals it is a very hot topic. If you're interested, here's a short taster.

But anyway, CAJ doesn't offer IB, and only some AP courses. This is the first year that my husband has taught these AP courses, or any AP courses, so it has been a steep learning curve for him. Unfortunately professional development pertaining to these courses isn't readily available on this side of the globe. If we happened to be Americans who go home for the summer, he'd have been able to go to a course in the states last summer, but that was just too much to consider as a special side trip. Maybe one day we'll get to the States, perhaps once we're just a couple again.

So, he's at Shanghai American School for the weekend, back Monday afternoon. A short one this time. The next overseas trip is only a couple of weeks away, though. On the 17th he'll go to Thailand for nine days with the senior class for their ministry trip to build classrooms for a poor tribal community that CAJ's been helping for some years now. I think it's great he can go, but I'm steeling myself for his absence. And praying hard that the boys will be unusually helpful and cooperative!

I keep reminding myself, You're a competent adult. You used to manage on your own before you got married, you can do it now. But there's something about having three strong-willed boys and living in Japan that undermines my confidence in such platitudes somehow!

I guess I need to set my mind on this verse:  
 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21


KarenKTeachCamb said...

As I was thinking about this post, I got thinking just how awesome God's plan for you is. He has put you and David together in a way that only He could orchestrate. He planned for you to be together, and it is a good thing that you work together so well, especially at parenting. I love the verse you finished with. A beautiful reminder of who is in control of the whole situation, and the One who will bring you through this weekend, and the longer absence that is coming, in a way that only he can. Meanwhile, I'd better make sure I'm praying for you while David's in Thailand. I don't envy anyone who is single parenting, even for a short time.

Karen said...

I hear you. I get a bit quivery if Chris starts mentioning that he might have to go away for a day or two (it is likely this might happen within the next few months...). Hope all goes well....