Sunday, October 31, 2010

How did you come up with that title?

I'm taking part in a thirty day blog challenge to post something new for the next thirty days.  I thought some of the topics were interesting, and while I should probably wait to start until tomorrow, I thought I'd go ahead and begin today.

Personally, I don't think "A Life in Ordinary" is a particularly original title.  I've lived in a small town my entire life, and I've been privvy to a lot of small town living. 

But don't mistake small town with unimportant.

I've met amazing people--people whose ordinary lives were examples of consistency and blessing.  People whose ordinary lives were a facade behind which an amazing person resided.  People whose ordinary lives still mattered.

We spend so much time chasing the red carpet that we miss the amazing gifts that ordinary living has to offer--the relationships, the experiences.

So I decided that's exactly what any blog I write would have to be--ordinary.  I'm serious when I tell you I'm not exciting.  I don't do interesting things and, while I AM a teacher, I don't significantly change the world on a regular basis.  But I don't believe that means my relationships and experiences don't matter.

And I certainly don't believe that means that my life isn't funny.

Here, I'm just as likely to share my weight loss struggles as I am to post a hundred pictures of Favorite wearing hats that just don't fit his head.  I might talk about an awesome meal I had with friends, or the teachers who have reminded me of the type of person I want to be.  I'm likely to share my belief in Christ and my struggle with that relationship.

I will share inconsistencies, constants, hair colors and make-up favorites.

And I will share all of those things because that is what ordinary life is about.  Sometimes, I'll find a miracle in all that ordinary stuff.  But I'm just as likely to smile over the experience, publish the post and go on about my life.

Because the ordinary doesn't stop.

Even when they take up the red carpet.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Worth of Education

As mentioned earlier this week, I've really been trying to figure out how to make students aware of the intrinsic value of education.  Today, I realized we're starting at the wrong place.  High school is just too late.

Why did I realize this?  Well, dear readers, my niece, SugarBean, is four years old and in Pre-K.

Currently, we refer to Pre-K as "Fight Club."  Most of you are probably conjuring images of toddlers biting one another and throwing classmates to the ground for the last cookie.  You would, however, be imagining the scenario all wrong.

We call Pre-K "Fight Club" because she won't talk about it--won't even answer questions about it.  And since the first rule of Fight Club is "You don't talk about Fight Club" it totally goes without saying that the first rule in Pre-K must be "You don't talk about Pre-K."

Today, however, she got a little more verbal.

Favorite:  What did you learn at school today?

Sugarbean:  NUFFIN'!

Favorite:  Nothing?  You just sat around all day and stared at the wall?

Sugarbean:  Yep.  Aww (all) they tew (tell) us is to sit an' wait for your pawents (parents) to get hewah (here).

Me:  They tell you to wait for your pants to grow hair?

Mother-in-Law:  HAHAHA.  No...for their PARENTS to get THERE.

Me:  Good.  Because I didn't know how long it took pants to grow hair, but I figured it was a long time.

Sugarbean:  I pway (play).  The ufer (other) kids just watch.

So there you have it.  Education can't be worth much if all "they" tell you is to wait for your parents to get there...and then only one kid gets to play.

Which stands to reason why the first rule of Pre-K is that you DON'T TALK ABOUT PRE-K.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fast Livin'

When I quit facebook, I had hoped that the blogosphere would offer a sort of communication without all the distraction facebook has to offer.  I would post my thoughts and feelings about various subjects, and then you would comment and we would have a conversation (of sorts) about said subjects.

Unfortunately, comments aren't always forthcoming.  Do I blame you?  Not really.  I read a ton of things on a regular basis and don't always feel the need to comment.  Part of the game, right?

Yet that part of the game often leaves me staring at the screen, stumped for material.  I don't have a funny story to tell and, thanks to my forthright comments, no one has asked me if I'm pregnant this week.  I don't have any fun student stories, and there are no pictures of the house to share because we are still in the process of finishing drywall.  Nothing exciting has happened, folks, but I maintain that particular sentiment is consistent with the title of the blog.  No shock, right?

The most exciting thing that happened in the last few days?  Lowe's discounted the flooring we're going to buy, and I got a new purse:
Like Vera or not, you have to admit that particular accessory is adorable.

My uneventful life will continue this weekend as I pay bills, eat out, attempt to clean my house (or look like I'm doing so) and make an honest effort to pick out paint colors that aren't going to make me gag as soon as the house is finished.

I might even read a book or two.

I know.  I should slow down.  Too much fast livin' isn't good for anyone.

Advice/comments welcome.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Value of Education

I can't predict student behavior so I was a little bit surprised when a student came to me the past two days and asked, "Why are we doing this?"

Those who have or work with teenagers understand that intonation is everything in a conversation with the age-challenged.  And this kid? Was not asking for the purpose of knowledge.  His goal was to ensure I understood how stupid he thought the assignment was.

Nothing like having a 14 year old question your methods to cap off a great day.

Of course, this incident makes me realize that all the things we've been discussing in our RTI (Response to Intervention) meetings are pertinent--crucial even.

What have we been discussing?  Well, I'm glad you asked, because I'll take all the input I can get.  The question at hand?  How do we make students and parents understand the intrinsic value of education? 

Sometimes, those are questions I struggle to answer.  I know the things that are going to be valuable to the majority of my students.  I realize that not all of those things are going to be super-exciting, or even useful for the rest of every student's life.  Yet I hesitate to say that these skills will never be useful.

Will my students, in their adult lives, ever go on to write a literary analysis paper about a book they've read?  Not many of them.  However, the good majority of them will be required to read documents that require ample analysis before they should put pen to paper and sign their names.

Will many of my students go on to deliver public speeches?  Probably not.  But almost all of them will face a job interview at some point...and the skills learned for a public speech are easily transferable to this particular situation.

You get the point.  So the question remains:  How do we make sure they understand the real value of an education (as a whole...not individual assignments)?  What could we say or do that would make a difference? 

Maybe we need to mount an advertising campaign?  Do we need to share life circumstances that may not matter to them for another 10 years?

Or maybe, we just let them make snide remarks like "Why are we doing this?" 

In the meantime, I'll work at not talking through my teeth when I say, "Because you obviously don't understand..."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Decompress and Laugh and Write

I am a dweller.

I dwell on things I need to fix.  I dwell on lesson plans that are good but could be better.  I dwell on relationships that aren't going the way they should be going, and work situations that really shouldn't require my time.

It doesn't take long before I need to decompress, but I'm not as good at that as I am at dwelling on the problems at hand.  If you know a great way to decompress, share.  Until then, I'll tell you that my chock-full weekend was actually completely enjoyable--mostly due to Favorite.

He's such a relaxed person, and he makes me enjoy company.  Since we moved Lil' Bro this weekend, I was also reminded how often I laugh with my family.  And it's great to laugh--even if you laugh until you cry or get the hiccups.

Anyway, I thought I'd offer you a little decompression the way I saw it this weekend:

At first, he thought he'd act sad that I was making him try on hats.

Then, he realized how much fun we were going to have and got excited :)

Then he got downright giddy.

But why just try on hats when you can try on hand warmers...

Or maybe even a fur vest.  Doesn't he look like Dog the Bounty Hunter?  (You should know he almost couldn't get out of this vest after he got it on...)

Hope you enjoyed the reason I laughed the entire weekend.


Now, for something that may require your help.

On our way home from moving Lil Bro, Favorite and I encountered a first.  See below.

This is a pair of pants WITH a belt still in the belt loops.  They were laying the middle of the road on the way home from my mom and dad's house.  Your job?  Come up with an interesting (and clean!  It's a public blog!) story that might account for a pair of pants in the middle of the road, and I'll come up with a fun prize for the winner.  I am an English teacher, so  make sure your story makes sense and is well-written.

I look forward to your'll give me some fun decompression :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Letter Series: Dear Insurance Guy

I don't know how things work at your school, but at our school we have to fill out new insurance information every year.  Every year they place this guy in our lounge because it's the easiest place to catch every teacher.  Unfortunately, it's also the most public place. 

I don't know how you feel, but I'm not an advocate for sharing every medical problem in the company of prying ears.  There are some people I trust and other people I think need to mind their business, so the fact that he was sitting across from me in a room that had just enough people in it to make me uncomfortable, wasn't a scenario I relished.

While I realize this is a public blog, please keep in mind that I will be keeping a few of the better parts of this conversation to myself.  They are not public information.

Insurance guy:  Fill out the top of this form and give it back to me and we'll get started.

Me:  No problem.

*Brief pause while I fill out personal information*

Insurance guy:  I need your height and weight, please.

Me:  *Of course I answered this question, but will I be sharing that answer with you?  Hardly.  Keep dreaming blog-world.  My weight will never be public knowledge...but keep in mind this is where the interesting part of the conversation takes place*

Insurance guy:  Are you pregnant?

Me:  No.

Insurance guy:  *I don't remember the exact exchange here, but we moved on to some other stuff where we went back and forth asking and answering questions*

Insurance guy:  Are you pregnant?

Me:  Um, no.

*More exchanges about current medications, blah-blah-blah*

Insurance guy:  Are you sure you're not pregnant?

Me:  I'm sure.  Just chubby.  Not pregnant.

Now girls, I realize that an insurance rep needs to know of any impending births.  But rest assured, I know my body and I am not, in fact, pregnant.  I wanted to hold a damn big sign to make this point clear since I was asked the question THREE SEPARATE TIMES.  I also wanted to make it clear that maybe I wasn't super comfortable with his line of questioning.

First of all, I know I'm chubby.  I've been working on it.  But the battle with PCOS doesn't make this the easiest pony to ride.  Get off my back.

Secondly, when someone tells you something once, twice and three times a lady, you should realize that you asked that question a few too many times.  An apology might be in order.  Blame it on old age so I will not spend the rest of the year silently wishing some angry teacher with an insurance claim hits you in the face.

Thirdly, Really?  I mean, seriously?

So for future reference to those of you in the blog world:  I am not pregnant.  I am fat.  End of story.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Thankful Heart

Have you ever had one of those days where you just looked around and realized how well you have it?  I had one of those days today.

I realized how blessed I am to have a job I enjoy.  I truly do.  I find some weird sense of satisfaction in hearing kids say "I get it" or "Hey, this is interesting."  I like discussing things with them because I think so much great learning comes from discussion.  I've been willing to discuss everything from sports (which I know little about) to movies to literature.  Sometimes the kids are shocked to learn there is a book that goes along with the movie; although, they're rarely surprised to hear the book is better.  They tell me it's almost always that way.

I realized how blessed I am to have Favorite.  We work opposite shifts, so I don't see him a lot during the week.  Most of the time, I have a lot of things to occupy my attention.  But tonight, on my way home from parent/teacher conferences (which went find, by the way), I realized how much I missed him.  It was a tangible ache.  I realized how much I love him and all the great things he brings to my life--and I'm not just talking about new houses, etc.  I mean, the companionship and pleasure he brings to my life.  I truly enjoy his company.

I realized how blessed Chris and I are to be in the financial position we are in.  The Lord has truly given us so much.  Sometimes, I forget how very blessed we are.

Mostly, it's nice to know that when things aren't going my way, I still have ample blessings to consider.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I do miss you but I've been busy.

Tonight is official laundry night.  I have water again, and the trailer is not currently collapsing with some other issue.  In fact, Fave even managed to light the pilot light and now I have heat.  Good news since I like feeling my toes.

How's your week been?  Because I don't feel like I've had much time to relax.  I had dinner with a friend yesterday (which was actually really nice), but I stayed in my classroom until 5:45 pm and graded.  It didn't make much sense to go home when I was meeting her at 6, but three straight hours of grading papers might have been a little much.

But has the stack in my basket diminished, you ask?  Nope.  Still a lot to go.  Not that I'm complaining.  I don't mind grading; I just hate feeling behind.  Since I haven't had a lot of parents sign up for parent/teacher conferences, I will probably spend my time doing that.  *sigh*

The good news is that I get off at noon on Friday and we are heading up to the Lou for the lil' bro's new life adventure.  I'm really happy for him and his new job, but I'm going to miss the booger.  I'm used to having him around for various outings.  But now he's got his own apartment and a new job with an Air Force Base.

Saturday, Fave and I have to head to the closest Lumber Liquidators so we can check out some flooring.  Needless to say, it's going to be a busy weekend.

And during that busy weekend, my mind works and worries.  Pray that I can rest and relax and enjoy the time with my family.  Pray for my mouth during parent/teacher conferences.

PS.  Today at the gas station, I heard a kid call his mom awful names.  It just disturbed me.  She didn't even bat an eyelash.  Is it any wonder that crazy behavior seems to be the norm for students these days?

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Beginning of the Trailer Crash

I don't normally post twice in the same night, but it turns out I have some time on my hands.

I purposefully left everything at school because I was devoting my evening to laundry and general clean up around the trailer.  House stuff has left us a bit on the messy side in our current dwelling.  Unfortunately, that clean-up (minus a minor pick-up) won't be happening tonight.

For the last year or two, Favorite and I have had to use a screwdriver to turn the hot water on in our shower.  It's just one of the joys of living in a trailer.  It wasn't a big deal, and the screwdriver worked plenty well...until this week.

This week, we realized the screw was starting to strip.  Bad news.  I told Chris, "You're probably going to have to change that screw before we move, because I don't think it's going to last until December."  Who knew how prophetic my statement would be.

When I came home from work today, there was no water to my trailer.  Why, you ask?  Because Fave couldn't get the hot water to turn off in the shower.  The screw is officially stripped.  Joy of joys.

Unfortunately, he didn't have time to fix it.  So here I am, with little to do that doesn't require water.

I would never survive outside of civilization.

Unless you don't count a trailer as civilization.

Weekend UPdate

I'm so sorry I haven't updated in the last few days.  It's been hectic around my house.

Emphasis on HOUSE.

Favorite and his crack team of a family friend, Uncle J, Gloria, my dad, my mom and the FIL managed to get ALL the drywall up and clean the general area so the finisher can come in tonight.  Of course, getting the drywall up alerted us to a couple of potential problems we needed to address right away.

1.  There really wasn't enough light in my kitchen.  Fun and decorative fix?  Beautiful track lighting.  And it's going to look symmetrical...which is an added bonus.

2.  Fave forgot the outlets in my bathroom.  Since I've been living without outlets in my bathroom for the last 7 1/2 years, I suggested he might want to rectify that problem.  Thankfully, he was already on it before I asked.  Who could ask for a better man.

Saturday was the last day for drywall, so Fave and I planned to make a trip to Lowe's.  We had a little detour before we could take off, though.

A couple from our church was celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  FIFTY YEARS TOGETHER!  Isn't that amazing?  I thought it was wonderful.

I spent the rest of the weekend in a mad grading frenzy trying to catch up on everything from the past few weeks.  I've started wondering:  am I assigning too much work if I'm having trouble keeping up with the grading?  Or maybe I'm assigning papers for English I, II and III all at the same time and that's making things more complicated for me.

Ugh.  Either way, I'm almost caught up.

Parent/Teacher conferences this week.  Go team.


And that, ladies and gentlemen concludes my wrap up from the weekend.  It's going to be a busy weekend this week, too.  Lil Bro is moving (sad face...but happy for his new job), Fave and I have to pick out flooring, and it will be a bit of traveling.

Stay tuned for the updates.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 15th

Friday is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. 

While you may not be aware, about 16% of all pregnancies in the United States ended in miscarriage or stillbirth.  That's a startling number, but one that may not make much sense without actual numbers.  According to the pregnancy and infant loss website, "[According to a 2004 survey] 1,003,000 of the 6,401,000 pregnancies in the United States ended in either a miscarriage or a stillbirth." 

That's an absolutely devasting thought.  Unfortunately, it may be difficult for us to imagine the range of that particular statistic.  It's likely that we will only imagine the loss of a million babies and the devastations their parents face.  What we will fail to understand is that miscarriages (and infant losses) affect would-be parents, would-be grandparents, would-be aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc.  There is a ripple effect that serves waves of grief to all parties involved.

More than likely, few of us can prevent the loss of a pregnancy or an infant.  We can, however, prepare ourselves to respond to those who will face this horrific event.  This website gives several great suggestions regarding what you can/should say.  I won't pretend that it's not awkward, but saying something offensive can make an awkward situation even worse.

Do not under any circumstances expect these women to "get over" their grief in a matter of months.  It just won't happen.  Unfortunately, there is no alarm that sounds when it's time to quit grieving.  The best thing you can do is allow your friend to grieve and talk when s/he feels the need and then go about life as normal. 

Do not tell the couple they can have another baby.  That's insensitive.

Do not tell the couple that it was for the best or that the baby is in a better place now.  While the couple may have a strong faith in God, that particular sentiment is really difficult to swallow when you can't make heads or tails of a horrible situation.  Be sensitive to those struggles of faith.

There are more suggestions from those websites, along with ways to get involved.  Mostly, just be willing to remember.  Be willing to pray.  Be willing to put your arm around someone so that survival doesn't feel empty.

Personally, I am taking this day to offer some personal recognition to a girl who lost her baby at 20 weeks.  I want her to know that I care about her, but that I haven't forgotten her loss. 

All pregnancies are special.  Don't forget.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tests, Drywall, Appliances and Evaluations (Basically, everything but the kitchen sink...but that's only because we haven't bought one yet)

There are some really important things that are taking place this week, and I will update you about one I hold very tender tomorrow. 

Today, my brain is shot because it was all-testing-day at my school.  That means that the freshmen, sophomores and juniors are all taking a different (but required) standarized test for the first half of the day while the seniors attend senior day at a local community college.  To make a long story short, it was a LONG day.  During testing the proctors are not allowed to read, write, grade or do anything otherwise productive.  We have to stare at the students the entire time.  Likewise, the students are not allowed to read, etc. when they finish tests early.  Instead, they can put their heads down or stare off into space (or stare back at me...which is just a little creepy).

It's BOR-RING with a capital b.  Not only that, but I was thinking today that the students can clearly see what it is we value, and while I see the necessity of these tests in a day and age that promotes NCLB and Race to the Top, I don't particularly value these instruments as a true measure of education.  Just made me wonder if they could sense my conflicted feelings on this front.  Since teenagers are pretty decent at smelling emotions, I'll vote a hearty yes.

Thankfully, there is sunlight on the horizon.  My house is very quickly coming together.  Drywall is making a very quick appearance thanks to the help of Tim-the-toolman (real and true, people), my dad, my father-in-law and my amazing husband.  Seriously, these guys have worked their hindquarters off, and that's resulted in the entire ceiling being drywalled and most of the walls.  After we blow the insulation into the interior walls (isn't that awesome!  We had enough left over to make it happen!), they'll be able to finish the drywall and the finisher can come *hopefully* Monday.

That means the cabinet guy will be making an appearance very soon.  And he's going to be happy with us might want to sit down for this...

Chris and I bought our kitchen appliances.

I hope that excites you as much as it excites me.  Honestly, we had no intention of buying them on Monday; however, Lowe's was having a great sale.  I ended up getting nicer appliances (than what I previously picked) for less money than we were originally going to pay.  AND we came in UNDER budget.  Hallalujah.

Now, here's hoping my evaluation tomorrow goes as smoothly as planned.  Given my ability to freak out and develop a high-speed-come-apart with no prior notice, it's up in the air.  Pray, people.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not To Shop

I no longer need to visit or because I'm really going to want new couches as soon as the house is done.  Well, new couches and a new bedroom suite.  Actually, just a new bed and side tables.  And maybe an armchair and a reading lamp.  But definitely new couches...which means that spending $300 on clothes from either of these sites is out of the question.

Besides, my stomach is not as flat as it probably should be (suggestions here?) so some of these outfits wouldn't look nearly as cute on me as they would on someone who mimics a washboard.

But that's not nearly as much of a turn off as realizing that I'm gonna want those couches.  A lot.

I mean, spending $50 wouldn't really be a problem.  And it's always nice to have dress cothes to wear to work (because I'm all about the professional look when I can get it to fit my perfectly round body).  But I'm pretty sure I won't be able to stop at $50.  That's right, Crystal.  Steer clear.

Instead, check your email and then go read a book.  Work on lesson plans.  Download more information from  Freak out over your evaluation.

But stop looking at super cute sweaters.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Provider

Most of the kids I see on a regular basis are working their way through what it means to be a boyfriend or a girlfriend.  They date, fight, break up, cry, etc.  Sometimes those events don't stay outside the classroom.  That's generally when I have to step in, but it's not a job I relish.

I don't spend a lot of time getting involved in their affairs because, in the end, I can't make their decisions.  Sometimes, though, I want to share parts of my relationship.  While my marriage is far from perfect, I want to tell them how great it is to have a husband who provides--who sees it as his job to provide for his family.  I want to tell them how wonderful it is to have a man who loves me and is willing to work his hindquarters off just to do something that makes me happy.

I want to tell them what it means to function as a team as opposed to two individuals with individual goals.  I want to tell them how great it feels to know that you're functioning as a team.

I'm so thankful to have a man who got up at 5 am in order to work a double shift.  He won't get home until 11:30 pm, but he won't complain once about his sacrifice.  He'll tell me that he does it for a specific reason, and then he'll get up early the next morning in order to go back to work on the house--not because he's punching a time clock.  Not because someone will be waiting on him.  Not even because he's going to be making a little money.  He does it because he knows that it's his responsibility to provide.

I love him.  Could you tell?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Letter Series: A Little Note to Preservice Teachers

When the bell rang at 3:12, I realized I hadn't sat down at my desk once today.  Generally, I get a little bit of a break and I get to do a bit of grading.  Today, that didn't happen.  I have a pile of grading still on my desk, but I finally decided to leave at 5 pm because I needed to quit for the day.  Here's hoping I manage to catch up before next week.

Days like this are frequent for a high school educator.  I realized early on that I wouldn't be able to clear my desk every single day and sometimes it's necessary to leave a stack of papers for the next day.  I really like my room to be organized and together so that has been a rough one for me.  Of course, it's just one of a long list of things I wish I would've learned while in my core classes at the university.  Here are a few more:

1.  Develop thick skin--High school students aren't always the friendliest crowd.  Likewise, their parents can be a formidable opponent.  If you take everything personally, it's going to be a rough school year.  I say this realizing that this is a big downfall of mine.  I think everything is a personal attack on my character, and that's just not the case.  If you can remove yourself from the situation, you'll be a lot better off.

2.  Maintain accountability--This probably isn't a shocker, but students lie.  Granted, not all of them are liars, but when it comes to trouble, many of them will tell a fib to save their own backside.  If you don't hold them accountable for their actions, you aren't doing them any favors.  If the policy states that the student receives a zero, it doesn't matter how much you like the kid.  S/he gets a zero.  End of story.  Will that kid hate you for the moment?  Absolutely.  But, in the end, these students will realize that you were the same person with every single kid who walked through the door.

3.  Love what you do--Nothing translates in the classroom like genuine excitement.  Our math department makes that abundantly apparent.  I hope that's what my students get from me.

4.  Be yourself--Part of teaching them often means developing some sense of relationship with them.  Don't be afraid to make yourself human.

5.  Don't be petty--There is a difference in consistent discipline and bird-dogging a student.  To quote Rebecca Nurse from The Crucible, "There's prodigious danger in seekin' loose spirits.  I fear it."  In other words, you tend to find what you're looking for.  Constantly look for misbehavior out of particular kids, and you're likely to find it.  Am I saying that giving them the benefit of the doubt is going to bring you two together?  Not likely.  But you'll be a lot less stressed.

Unfortunately, I've realized that doing all these things doesn't mean that every kid will love you.  Some of them will despise you on principle.  Some of them will just hate your subject.  But some of those kids might actually like you.  A few more of them might learn something...or discover a new talent.

And that makes it worthwhile.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Think Pink

I didn't get to start this month the way I'd orginally planned because of the homecoming festivities, but now I want to draw attention to something that deserves support and a spotlight.

Welcome to breast cancer awareness month.

Cancer seems to be an unavoidable evil these days.  Seems most of us have been touched in personal ways by this horrendous disease.  But recently, the United States Preventative Task Service put out a memo indicating that yearly mammograms are no longer necessary.  Most organizations have stated that this finding isn't necessary wrong, but it cannot be a blanket suggestion for all women everywhere.  And for every woman who may not benefit from a yearly mammogram, there is also a woman who survived because of early detection.

I don't know what it's like to be diagnosed with breast cancer.  To be frank, I know that breasts are a big part of what it is to be a woman.  But they don't define you.  Neither does cancer.

This month, every time you wear pink, say a prayer for someone who may be struggling with this disease.  Say a prayer for the woman who was just diagnosed, or the one who is fearful because she has yet to receive a diagnosis.  Pray for the families.  Pray for the doctors.  Pray for a cure.  Then, believe in the words of the Deliverer: 
"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.
I've called your name. You're mine.
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.
When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
it won't be a dead end—"
--Isaiah 43:2 (The Message)

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Brief Book Break

I've been working on a post (in my head) for preservice teachers.  I have a lot of information I want to share regarding my personal experiences.  I am by no means experienced in the realm of education, but I am at this in-between stage that gives me the opportunity to remember what would've been helpful to learn during my time at a university.  Stay tuned for that as soon as I have enough brain cells, time and sleep to write something understandable.

Until then, check out this book:

I'm only in the first chapter and it's truly fascinating.  Of course, I am fascinated by Deitrich Bonhoeffer and have long since wanted to learn more about his life and his influence on theology.  It's rare that I read a book this thick with information without the desire for a nap, but I assure you that this book is well worth your time.

Now...on to laundry.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homecoming Week: Friday

Unfortunately, we lost the game.  I think it's fair to say that the kids we were playing against were just bigger and faster.  Despite that fact, it's hard to lose--particularly when we were 5-0 going in to the game.

The Juniors also lost the float competition.  I won't share my feelings on that front because this is a public blog, but I will post pictures of our awesome float later.  And trust me, it was amazing.

I want to do a couple of shout-outs for this week worth of homecoming adventures:

To Jason who obviously spent a lot of time making sure we could "pop" the robot's head--we appreciate your effort.  I owe you your drink of choice.

To Morgan who is the best co-dean anyone could ask for.  It's good that you're more laid back than I am, and it's even better that you are as competitive as I am.  It's nice to know that I don't have to carry things by myself and that you are not only dependable, but proactive when it comes to activities.

To the juniors who stepped up to work the concession stand:  Thank you.  Prom doesn't go on without this effort, and I appreciate that you listen to the pleas of a slightly deranged English teacher.

To the football team, cheerleaders, student council, homecoming court and anyone else who makes homecoming something to be remembered:  I appreciate your school spirit and your tenacity.  Without you, there would be no reason for class competitions, float contests, points and the spirit cup.  And I do love all of those things.  But mostly, without you, we would be missing that sense of community that homecoming seems to bring.

I told Chris that I really love football games because I feel safe there.  I'm sure that sounds stupid, but I like that everyone seems to come together for a common cause.  I wish it happened more often.