It is good to be receiving

We are invited to a dinner tonight. It is a family of my husband’s colleagues who are hosting the dinner.

After the Christmas season, trying to find out what everyone wanted and trying to place orders so things arrived on time( including for the cat), it is nice to be invited out. I can relax and be the receiver. As I write this post, I feel I must be selfish to even feel this way.

Giving is supposed to be selfless and make one happy and it does make me happy but sometimes one gets tired of it as I am now.

How different I am from our God who gives and gives and I take and take and take and am eternally dissatisfied.

A few days back we hosted a Secret Santa party at our home for the neighborhood children. After the party, we gave them return gifts. Many of the children returned the gifts on the spot and said, they didn’t want them and they wanted other gifts. Some of the children took the gifts outside and opened the wrappers and the next day we found the gifts on our verandah.( we took them back in and are using them now). Are we like that too in the heavenly realm of things ?

My prayers are mostly asking things from God- give me this and give me that. When I get something, my answer is usually- I didn’t ask for this- I wanted something else.

Today I think I will enjoy the party, even though the night will be cold and the roads crowded. For I will not be the hostess today.



On November 30, I wrote the GRE exam. The scores of this exam were necessary for my application to the MPH program. One of the sections for this exam was Verbal Reasoning.

A couple of passages are given to the candidate and questions asked on the purpose of the passage, synonyms, antonyms, and a lot of other vocabulary related questions. I had a study time of 3 days to understand this and the other two sections for the exam. I found the Verbal Reasoning the hardest.

I found my vocabulary is painfully minimal. I did not know synonyms. Words like ” abjure” floored me. ” Equivocate”, a word commonly used in the exam was another word, which try as much as I did, I could not master. Finally from my research background, I tried to understand it as – equity- equal distribution- unable to say which one or which side- and finally the real meaning-intentionally use vague language.

As a non- native English speaker, it seems my vocabulary is not all that it should be. I have been trying to correct this deficit the past days’. I am surprised that for a person who reads books in English by the ton, my vocabulary is extremely deficient. When I write, I notice recently that I struggle for words and when I read back on what I have written, often my sentence constructions are all wrong. It seems I need to do some severe re-doing of my knowledge of English.

I have often found that reading books like P.G. Wodehouse, immediately brings a change in my vocabulary and the speed at which I am able to enunciate my ideas. I am also keeping my GRE preparation book titled ” Essential Words for the GRE” until I can master all the words in said book.

Do you ever feel at a loss for words or synonyms or antonyms ? Is it a problem only for people for whom English is not the first language ?

Nominations, endorsements and dilemmas

There is a colleague who is not very popular with us. I have written about her previously. A few reprimands and warnings from our supervisor and a lot of counseling from different sources and this year, she seems so much better.

Last year, I used to spend sleepless nights over her and her attitude and her interactions. This year, I have become changed in  my attitude towards her. I prayed over it. I did not work hard from my side to improve relations but prayed hard and let it go. This year her relations with all in our department have improved.

Recently she took a few days off for a personal issue. She came back to work this week and has gone back to the taunt, indirect talk, disrespecting supervisor and colleagues after this leave period. Maybe something traumatic in her life set her back. I will soon be leaving the department, but I wanted my relations with her and with others to improve, so she can settle down with everyone and learn to trust and I am trying to help her.

There was a nomination in our college to a Distinguished Achievement Award. Anyone could nominate anyone. Something directed me to nominate her, this colleague for  this award. This was about 3 months back. A couple of weeks back, I heard back from the committee, that they had accepted her nomination and I needed to put together a package with a lot of letters and stuff, so a complete package could go to the main office where another committee would look through the nominations.

I am now running around trying to put the packet together. I told my supervisor, who is the colleague’s supervisor too that  X’s nomination had been accepted and that I was working on the package. My supervisor told me she was not willing to write a letter of endorsement for the colleague and also advised me to let go- not to bother about submitting the package.

The colleague is not someone I like very much but when my supervisor told me not to bother about sending the packet to the main office, something told me inside, I just had to do it. There seem to be too many coincidences and nudges here. I am praying about it. It is hard work, getting a package in place. Let’s see where it goes.