Saturday, April 8, 2017

Don't Miss the Open Doors

I can't believe I only have four weeks left of my 12-week teaching assignment. What a roller coaster it has been. The highs are so high, and the lows... abysmal.

Although my freshmen have a staggering capacity for cooking up all manner of mischief, and some days they nearly drive me to drink, it's typically not their behavior that sometimes tempts me to go back to my old, cushy job. No, it's all the other stuff: the constant grind of prepping for two vastly different audiences (both in age and ability level), never catching up with grading, despairing of ever getting the stacks of graded essays filed in their portfolios, and playing Russian Roulette with printing last-minute copies on the two machines (shared by 120 teachers) that literally break two to three times per week, sometimes at the same time.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On the Select Team

I'm five weeks into my long-term subbing assignment, teaching 9th- and 11th-grade English. I've been saving up so many stories for you that I don't even know where to begin. I guess at the beginning....

My feelings about myself as a teacher have followed the same trajectory as they did the first time I started teaching, over 20 years ago. The first couple of weeks were glorious. I loved my kids, and they loved me. I was elated at how easy and fun it was to engage them, and I felt that I was doing what I was made to do, like a horse running or an eagle soaring.

After a couple more weeks slipped by, harsh reality set in as the honeymoon faded. This is a really, really hard job. All day, every day, I had to juggle the responsibilities and interruptions, the planning, the grading, the challenges of classroom management. And I had to do all of this with a smile on my face, preferably with my sense of humor intact. I went home utterly exhausted each night, too keyed up to sleep soundly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Yes! So Blessed

Two weeks ago yesterday, I embarked on a journey I'd been anticipating--and often fearing--for over a year. I quit my very good job as a training developer and signed on for a 12-week substitute teaching assignment, teaching 9th- and 11th-grade English.

Words can't describe the nervousness I felt on that first day, but underneath all that I knew that God was with me. I knew that I could never be enough for these 80 children, but I felt a deep assurance that the Holy Spirit would equip me for this purpose that He has called me to.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

One Face of Obamacare

If you're like most of us, you can't wrap your mind or heart around really big problems. Here's an example. Remember the earthquake in Haiti in 2010? It killed about 200,000 people and left 2 million homeless. At the time, I sent money to help deliver clean water to the earthquake victims, but honestly I wasn't terribly moved by the suffering of all of those faceless people. It was too overwhelming to shoulder all of that grief, and even though their lives would never be the same, my own life went on just as it always had.

I see something similar happening in America right now. In the coming months, 20 million Americans may soon be without health coverage, if efforts to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) succeed.

Can you picture that? Twenty million men, women, and children with no health coverage?

Neither can I. How do you put a face on that many people?

Let me help you. Here is one person who will lose her healthcare if this legislation passes. Meet my sister Amy, who suffered a massive stroke in March of 2016. The stroke left her virtually paralyzed on her left side.

Amy four months after her stroke

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Cooking Fail That Wasn't

I had a great, productive day today. I woke up in good spirits and made excellent progress on my current e-Learning project. I was so engrossed in my work that I worked an extra hour without thinking about it.

And then, without warning, I abruptly crashed into a very foul mood. I was hungry and tired and very blue for no good reason. I wanted very much to go to bed, but it was only six and I was hungry.

I drug myself away from my desk and out to the garage to check the deep freeze for something edible. I've been way too busy lately with driving for Lyft (more on that later, but no promises) and studying up on the latest teaching technologies, so I haven't made time to go to the grocery store very often. Thus, I find myself eating whatever I can scrounge up, such as peanut butter and jelly (if I've had time to grind my sprouted wheat and make bread, as well as soak, dehydrate, roast, and grind the peanuts).

So you can imagine my triumph when I spotted a package of salmon I'd bought on sale and then forgotten all about. I literally raised a fist and said, "Yes!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thank You, and I Love You

When I posted an entry the other day about an upcoming breast biopsy, I prefaced it with a comment about possibly breaching the rules of etiquette. Some of you asked me why I thought that.

No, it wasn't because the story was about my breast. I was concerned that some people would think I should keep my "minor health worry" private because it would be inconsiderate to cause you worry when I didn't know yet whether there was a major health problem.

An Early Christmas Present for Me

After only one day, I got my biopsy results. When I realized it was the nurse from the radiology center and not my doctor, I knew it was good news.

There were no cancer cells. It is fibrocystic tissue, which is typical with my type of dense, lumpy breast tissue. The calcification (hardening) has increased over time, so they will do close monitoring. I go back in six months for another diagnostic mammogram.

But there is no cancer.

To quote the nurse, "Merry Christmas!"

Oh, thank you Jesus. Thank you to everyone for your love and prayers.
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