Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Dear February,

It’s been nice knowing you.

You saw me turn a year older, run 80 miles (in preparation, hopefully, for the LA Marathon next month), sub 12 days in a 5th grade math classroom–and find myself lesson planning, managing behavior, and grading papers, finish my 10,000 word TPA 2, get very sick, write an educational research paper, read some good books (Roth’s The Ghost Writer, J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians, DeLillo’s White Noise), continue tutoring W—– (an adult literacy student), host (with CH) a seven course meal for eight, drive a rental car for the first time, congratulate my sister for acceptance to graduate school, watch CH clep out of scads of German units, start watching the last season of The Wire … and make pizza for dinner tonight.

You’ve left me a little tired.

Here’s to March.



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Chronic Pain

Story: After spending 14 hours in a hospital bed last October, I developed a chronic pain that has been migrating up and down my spinal column. It originated in the lower right hand side of my neck (I assume from the lack of neck support while lying down), then moved to rest in between my scapula for a while, visited my sciatic region and after I slept wrong last night, it has taken up residence in my neck again today.

I’m noticing several things: (1) I think the pain is a physical manifestation of my soul’s grief, unfortunately, recognizing this correlation does not allow me to simply wish the pain away; however (2) crying does seem to alleviate it briefly;  (3) when I am in pain, the first thing to shut down is my sense of humor, then my creativity, and as the pain progresses, it has been sapping any desire I have to do anything at all; (4) I have a hard time getting the help I need because I have a voice that keeps saying, “Don’t be a baby. It’s not as bad as you think it is” and another one that says, “Well, just hold out. Take a nap. Use a hot pad. Go to the gym. It will go away on its own. Wait to make an appointment with the chiropractor until tomorrow…”

And so, I am sitting here at the computer, not being funny, not being creative, not doing really anything at all except thumbing my nose at the Don’t-Be-A-Baby-Voice and trying to ignore the nauseating pain until it reacts positively to the ibuprofen.


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Dearest Husband,

I remember growing up a little obsessed with marriage–some years, it was all I wanted; others, I wanted anything but. Always, I regarded it with dread (in the archaic deep-awe sense of the word).  I found very few examples of marriages I wished to emulate; a good percentage of them dissolved despite the appearance of happiness, and the ones that hadn’t seemed unnatural attachments held together by cultural nostalgia and superego’d shame.  I heard repeatedly from the couples I did respect that marriage was “hard work” and love was a “choice.”  I feared surrendering my personal freedom and hitchin’ my wagon to someone else’s star.

Then I found, or rather re-found, you — my first love, first heartbreak, separated by circumstances, time, and geography. I didn’t believe in soulmates, but I do now.  Despite all odds, my soul which was formed with yours in Mind, sought you out.  Despite my reservations, the “click” our hearts made when they fell into place was unmistakable.  When I agreed to marry you, I expected it to be hard work; I had decided that I would choose to love you no matter what; I had a Biblical belief that marriage would make me holy, even if it didn’t make me happy.

But two years later, you know what I’ve discovered?  When one is prepared to make sacrifices, when one is ready to love selflessly, when one expects the crucible of marriage to pound you into the image of Christ… It’s surprisingly enjoyable.  Being married to you feels natural and easy.  I respect you more than anyone else I’ve ever met and you love me so well that I never have cause to doubt it.  Life has been hard, but marriage has been my haven, the safe place in the midst of the storms.  You keep me anchored the way a kite is anchored and I am more myself than I have ever been.

When I heard that marriage would make me holy, I had visions of learning to be long-suffering through trials and selfless in the face of hardship.  Instead, I have seen the face of God and He is Love.  Your generous spirit and gracious heart have taught me more about my Father who is Loving and Generous and Forgiving and Good than any Bible lesson ever could, and because I know that I am loved to the very depth of my being, I have been freed to be more loving and generous and forgiving and good.  You did that.  And I am so grateful.

Thank for teaching me what it means to trust in the midst of doubt, forgive in the face of adversity, and love in spite of pain.  “I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach… and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, my darling,

Your Wife


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Today I am confined to the sick bed.  CH informs me that I am funny when I am sick–I do become rather cynical and punchy and my hair stands up on end.  Maybe I should take the act on the road.  Thankfully it’s a non-school day in my district, so I and the fifth grade math class I am substituting for will have a short break from each other.  We need it.  I wish I were in the sick bed alone, but snuggled beside me is the ever-present TPA, an educational research paper (which will single-handedly cement my intention to never get a master’s degree in education: Good Work, Little Paper) and some teacher’s math textbooks & content standards schedule that I am desperately trying to decipher so that I have something to teach the children this week.  No, this is not what substitute teachers are supposed to do and yes, it is what I am doing– or what I’m attempting to do through the foggy-headedness.

This is a pretty classic Card Hyatt Sick Day.  It’s a good lesson in Determined Futility.

I’m also in the midst of a mad break to get myself trained for this year’s LA Marathon.  I ran a lovely 14 miler this weekend, through Silver Lake, past Griffith Park, through Los Feliz (just as the cafes were setting out chairs and cooking bacon), and back home down Silver Lake.  It didn’t feel so lovely the next day, but I think I’m in shape to eke out a decent marathon.  Besides an amazing playlist of 70s and 80s anthems, I’ve been listening to contemporary classical composers while I run.

Which, finally brings me to the point of this post.


How could you say no to this bunch?

I’m fairly new to this brilliant and beautiful section of the world’s music, but I’m going to be hanging out in it for quite awhile.  Thoughtful, beautiful, stretching, weird– everything you could ask for in music.  Right now I’m listening to Arvo Pärt, Rachel Grimes, John Adams, and Philip Glass.  Rachel Grimes is, of course, the least well-known of my present line-up … but her stuff is fantastic (and we had it played in our wedding).


R. Card Hyatt

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Your Name: ______________________  Today’s Date: ___________

Where is your energy naturally directed?
Extroverts’ energy is directed primarily outward, towards people and things outside of themselves. Introverts’ energy is primarily directed inward, towards their own thoughts, perceptions, and reactions. Therefore, Extroverts tend to be more naturally active, expressive, social, and interested in many things, whereas Introverts tend to be more reserved, private, cautious, and interested in fewer interactions, but with greater depth and focus.
Extroverts often: 

Have high energy

Talk more than listen

Think out loud

Act, then think

Like to be around people a lot

Prefer a public role

Can sometimes be easily distracted

Prefer to do lots of things at once

Are outgoing & enthusiastic

Introverts often: 

Have quiet energy

Listen more than talk

Think quietly inside their heads

Think, then act

Feel comfortable being alone

Prefer to work “behind-the-scenes”

Have good powers of concentration

Prefer to focus on one thing at a time

Are self-contained and reserved

How would you describe yourself?

Very Extroverted

Somewhat Extroverted I don’t know Somewhat Introverted Very Introverted
1 2 3 4


What kind of information do you naturally notice and remember?
Sensors notice the facts, details, and realities of the world around them whereas Intuitives are more interested in connections and relationships between facts as well as the meaning, or possibilities of the information. Sensors tend to be practical and literal people, who trust past experience and often have good common sense. Intuitives tend to be imaginative, theoretical people who trust their hunches and pride themselves on their creativity.
Sensors often: 

Focus on details & specifics

Admire practical solutions

Notice details & remember facts

Are pragmatic; see what is

Live in the here-and-now

Trust actual experience

Like to use established skills

Like step-by-step instructions

Work at a steady pace

Intuitives often: 

Focus on the big picture & possibilities

Admire creative ideas

Notice anything new or different

Are inventive; see what could be

Think about future implications

Trust their gut instincts

Prefer to learn new skills

Like to figure things out for themselves

Work in bursts of energy

How would you describe yourself?

Very Sensory

Somewhat Sensory I don’t know Somewhat Intuitive Very Intuitive
1 2 3 4


How do you decide or come to conclusions?
Thinkers make decisions based primarily on objective and impersonal criteria–what makes the most sense and what is logical. Feelers make decisions based primarily on their personal values and how they feel about the choices. So, Thinkers tend to be cool, analytical, and are convinced by logical reasoning. Feelers tend to be sensitive, empathetic, and are compelled by extenuating circumstances and a constant search for harmony.
Thinkers often: 

Make decisions objectively

Appear cool and reserved

Are most convinced by rational arguments

Are honest and direct

Value honesty and fairness

Take few things personally

Are good at seeing flaws

Are motivated by achievement

Argue or debate issues for fun

Feelers often: 

Decide based on their values & feelings

Appear warm and friendly

Are most convinced by how they feel

Are diplomatic and tactful

Value harmony and compassion

Take many things personally

Are quick to compliment others

Are motivated by appreciation

Avoid arguments and conflicts

How would you describe yourself?

Very Thinker

Somewhat Thinker I don’t know Somewhat Feeler Very Feeler
1 2 3 4


What kind of environment makes you the most comfortable?
Judgers prefer a structured, ordered, and fairly predictable environment, where they can make decisions and have things settled. Perceivers prefer to experience as much of the world as possible, so they like to keep their options open and are most comfortable adapting. So, Judgers tend to be organized and productive while Perceivers tend to be flexible, curious, and nonconforming.
Judgers often: 

Like to have things settled

Take responsibilities seriously

Pay attention to time & are usually prompt

Prefer to finish projects

Work first, play later

Seek closure

See the need for most rules

Like to make & stick with plans

Find comfort in schedules

Perceivers often: 

Like to keep their options open

Are playful and casual

Are less aware of time and may run late

Prefer to start projects

Play first, work later

May have difficulty making some decisions

Question the need for many rules

Like to keep plans flexible

Want the freedom to be spontaneous

How would you describe yourself?

Very Judger

Somewhat Judger I don’t know Somewhat Perceiver Very Perceiver
1 2 3 4


Would you rather:

☐ Have everyone like you.

☐ Have everyone respect you.

Which expression of appreciation would make you feel most valued?

☐ Hearing words of affirmation

☐ Receiving a gift

☐ Shared acts of service

☐ Spending time together

☐ Getting a hug or handshake

☐ Other: _________________

How do you best remember information? When you have:

☐ Seen it in writing

☐ Heard it out loud

☐ Done it by hand

Please list in order the three most important things in your life:





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On October 26, 2010, I lost my unborn daughter, Madeleine Grace.  I found these songs helpful as I struggled to articulate my grief and wrestled with God.

“Precious Child” by Karen Taylor-Good

“Held” by Natalie Grant

“Glory Baby” by Watermark

“You Wouldn’t Cry (Andrew’s Song)” by Mandisa

“All I Can Say” by the David Crowder Band

“Our God is in Control” by Steven Curtis Chapman


“His loved ones are very precious to Him and He does not lightly let them die…”
Psalm 116:15, Living Bible


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Our stove top is a magnet.  I have never had a stove top get dirty this quickly and repetitively in my life.  I consider myself to be fairly astute in the housecleaning department, but this stove kills me.  After one day of cooking it is colored a terrible combination of black, orange, gray, and ick.  I don’t think I’m a particularly messy cook, so perhaps I can blame its petite stature.  It’s the smallest stove I’ve ever cooked on—our cast iron skillet covers almost two burners—making it difficult to actually clean.  Anyways, if I let it go a day or two, it’s a disaster.

So, the only answer to the lack of deep cleaning for the past two weeks was to dump it in the bathtub.  It works with children, right?  Why not stove tops!

After two hours soaking in a steaming hot bath with plenty of comet, it was in a much better mood.

If only that would work for my TPA too.

R. Card Hyatt

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