Saturday, August 15, 2009

Who Would Have Ever Thought...

In August 2002, I was signed up for two three hour classes at Lee University with a declared major of Christian Education. It didn't take another full time semester to realize that, while I loved God and everything He stood for, I was looking for more than becoming an administrator at a Christian school. That was the semester I took my first history class and failed my first exam with Dr. Barnett. Within twenty minutes of seeing the "F", I was signed up as a history major. I know, the logic fails. Don't try to figure it out. I still can't.

In the winter of 2006 - 2007 I sat with Dr. Bob again and discussed what I was going to do with my history degree. He told me that he would love to see me teach and would be proud to have me teach his daughter. Well, I had worked as a substitute and as a teacher's aid as well as a safety officer for the Borough of Anchorage. I had even worked as an admin assistant for a Baptist Student Union and helped lead mission trips. I applied to the School of Education to even see if they might see in me what Dr. Bob seemed to see and they offered me the chance to get my M.A.T. Two weeks ago, I graduated and am getting ready to start teaching on Tuesday at the top Christian college preparatory school in the Tennessee Valley. I'm excited! I love kids and want to give them the best education I can possibly give them but still...

Somewhere something was nagging at me. Something that said, "There is more you need to do." There are some who would suggest I am 'slightly nuts' but I applied to the School of Education for their new Ed.S. program and received word today that I have officially been accepted to begin work on what will eventually, God willing, become my doctorate in education. Can I do this? I am reminded, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

My pastor has reminded me that, "If it's God's will, it's God's bill." (This is the same pastor who rode his new four-wheeler into the sanctuary the morning of his birthday to thank the church for the present.)

My new employer and the headmaster of the school has said he knows I will do well at this and it will serve as an extraordinary example to the students. (I wonder if he knows that one of the cleaning ladies at the school has already signed up to return to tech school classes after she and I talked.)

Whatever happens, I know this is not the path I would have chosen years ago. It has taken Someone far greater than me to get me to this place. Someone who has a great sense of humor and a plan for my life.

I promise to post some pictures of my classroom and office in the next few days.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More to Decorate Than Ever

Who ever thinks about the fact that teachers have to decorate their classrooms prior to the beginning or school? In my new surroundings, it also means I have an office to decorate. Somewhere here I have pictures of a desk buried in textbooks and I will get it posted as soon as I can get it downloaded.

Who wonders about the families of teachers? I always did until I was taken home one day in fifth grade by my fourth grade teacher. Daddy had had a heart attack that morning and Mrs. Olson took me home to stay with her for the entire week. We stayed after school every day to clean the chalkboard and I prided myself in earning my keep by beating erasers. Every afternoon when we left school, she would drive me the 81 miles to see Daddy and Mom. We would have dinner with Mom in Fallon and then Mrs. Olson would drive us 'home' to her house in the teacherage. There's probably a law against that sort of thing nowadays. Nonetheless, I want to be like Mrs. Olson as I teach. My crazy little family supports that idea and the small SUV I have been keeping an eye out for has become a three-seater Dodge Durango so I can not only get up the driveway but take entire classes on field trips to Chattanooga. (My classes are SO small.)

Chuck and Britt have also volunteered to spend a part of today helping me finish my classroom and office so I can spend time putting together my seven syllabi and finish lesson plans. I think Mrs. Olson would be proud of them. I know I am.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I could use the excuse that I have been busy. Then there is the old standby of figured no one cares so why bother. But the truth of the matter is that I simply have been setting aside my blogs for other pastures over at facebook and hadn't given this much thought until two different friends got me to thinking last night that I still have this and should be using it.

In the course of the last few months (OKAY!! Let's get honest here!) since April when I last posted I finished an internship teaching eighth grade students history and, just this past weekend, I graduated with my MA in teaching. I have also found a position teaching at a private school and classes start on the 18th of August. Today, I am going in to set up my classroom and office and my sweetheart is going to be running around getting the bookcases and file cabinet I want to complete the job.

Imagine, if you will, having an entire wall to use as a bulletin board. (Reminder to self: buy pushpins) I'm really looking forward to this adventure and promise to keep everyone updated.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Oh yeah!! I'm still here and more tired than normal with the time in school running out and the body telling me how much it really dislikes me right now. Not of much help is the barometric pressure that keeps bouncing from one extreme to the other and adding to the hurting status. Either way, I'm okay.

Lots of things have been happening and I will be back soon to share. For now, I'm back to working on things for tomorrow's class. Later!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Hope Your Thanksgiving Was Good

This morning, as my grandchildren headed out the door to school, their mother reminded them to share with their teacher that they were going to be celebrating Thanksgiving when they returned home at the end of the day. That may not seem like anything different unless you notice that they are attending school today. You see, they live in England. . .in Plymouth England to be exact.

Their mother has seen the importance in maintaining the link with her American roots in spite of her English accent and very English family. Links are a good thing. They form memories and a bonding unlike anything else.

I can remember a time once when my little girl bailed out of the pickup and ran across the street to look at what should have been one of the more important monuments she would ever view. Her response? "It's a rock. Mom, it's just a rock and not a very pretty one at that." She stared, confused, and then looked back at me. "Couldn't they have picked a prettier rock to land on?" I laughed and reminded her that they probably hadn't had much time to shop around for rocks and never thought that millions of people would eventually be looking at the rock as something of significance. A nearby stranger commented, "The kid's right. It's probably not even the real one." He walked away as did so many in the crowd that day. How was she to know that Plymouth Rock would have a place in her future?

Last night we talked on the phone and were discussing the components of a 'traditional Thanksgiving dinner.' She wanted to get it right for her family. She shared how she wanted the kids to know the history of their hometown and how it connected with the history of her homeland and I suspect a trip to the harbor may be in their near future.

Perhaps someday she will share with them a story of a young man, a cooper, who sailed to the new land and within a few years married a young lady with whom he had made the voyage. A Stranger and a Saint. Oh, John and Priscilla, if you could but see them now.

Wishing You All a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gobble Gobble Ho Ho??

I'm confused (or maybe not). As a child I can remember the flurry and fun of Christmas shopping. The day after Thanksgiving was known as Black Friday and was the busiest day of the entire year for retail business. I know that because my Mother was one of the millions who hit those stores with gusto and did her share for the national economy.

Christmas music and decorating was taboo until Thanksgiving night when suddenly stores were transformed into fake snow covered windows looking in on worlds of spice and gingerbread cookies, Lionel train sets, Flexible Flyer sleds, and the dreaded Daisy Sure Shot B-B Gun. ("You're gonna shoot your eye out, Ralphie.") Christmas trees were never put up before the turkey gobbled his last and each of the holidays was celebrated on its own. There were no Santa's in shops on November 3rd. Santa would not and could not make an appearance until Thanksgiving afternoon when Macy's would bring him onto the scene at the end of their gala Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Television stations would have never thought to have shown It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, or Holiday Inn before the season was upon us. We always waited to see if the Bing Crosby family had added another member or what Bob Hope was doing to entertain the troops with his USO tours. Christmas family specials were fun to watch and entertaining.

What happened? When did the holidays merge to the point that one is considered a major food fest and the other so loaded with crass commercialism that shopping no longer seems much fun?? I do remember that while living in England, Christmas seemed more the treat it had been for me as a child. Decorating was reserved for late November and the first of December and these were NOT people who celebrated Thanksgiving but simply meant to keep the holiday as it should be kept.

And recently I have noticed the tendency of some churches to be closed on Christmas because attendance is down. What?!? WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Who's the rocket scientist that came up with that one?? Let the church ladies guild go on their annual shopping trip to Gatlinburg or to Milwaukee or Copper Hill but Christmas is canceled due to lack of participation. Ridiculous!!

I, for one, am proud to say I had family who attended that first Thanksgiving and who have held with many of the same traditions for years. There will be no tree at our Thanksgiving dinner. I am also glad to say that I come from and am still a part of a family that believes that Christmas should be kept as Christmas. We will carry on years of tradition when we decorate a tree and share simple gifts, enjoy a meal together, and remember whose birthday we celebrate.

Hapus Diolch
(Happy Thanksgiving)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Does He Know?

I mean seriously. . .does this guy realize how dangerous following me around the car park at work can be at this time of year?

For those who don't recognize him, this is a wild turkey. He is, in fact, a BIG wild turkey and he was inspecting my car on Thursday as I came out of class to head for home.
Thanksgiving is only a few weeks off and here he is for all the world to see.
Go figure.

When I arrived home that day it was to this colorful view of our small area of woods.
I love fun days like this.