The Wind

It’s one of those blustery, gusting Spring days. The powerful gusts of wind make it much colder outside and louder inside. Compound this wind with the low thick clouds, and you’ve got a recipe for a bit of depression. Usually the wind bugs me. But, today, it’s a wind of anticipation. I’ve tried numerous times to write this emotion down in a poem, but I’ve always failed. Spring winds bring the warm summer days. After a long, cold winter, those days are highly anticipated. That is why Spring winds are so wonderful.

Did you know that Dodge City is actually the windiest city in the U.S.? And I live an hour away from Dodge. I wonder if I’ll ever live in a place where there isn’t much wind.

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Washington, D.C.

I have a new favorite city. I haven’t been to all that many cities in the U.S., but D.C. is at the top of the list. Although I was leading 14 students around the city (sometimes getting lost), I still enjoyed the history that surrounded us at all times. All the monuments, Mount Vernon, Arlington Cemetery, Arlington House, the Capitol, the White House. Walking in the same places our forefathers walked. Seeing the places these great men sat and thought about the ideas and principles our republic would be built on. At times, it was overwhelming. And very inspiring.

So often, I take for granted the amazing freedoms I have in America. I think many people don’t understand the sacrifices that have been made to maintain our freedom. They don’t understand the enormous pressure and risk our forefathers were taking when they gave birth to our nation. This ignorance causes apathy and negative attitudes toward government. Which in turn lessens involvement in the government, causing the minority to rule when the majority should rule. It’s such a delicate balance, really.

I probably won’t go back to D.C. with students, but I will definitely go back again! Every American should be required to take this trip!

Whose Idea Was This?

I really don’t understand where it started. Some guy from Smithsonian travel called me one day at school, I guess. I had sent in a card with my information on it, showing a bit of interest in traveling with my students. Of course, I filled that card out on a whim, and I had no inkling how it would all build up and come together like this. But, here I am on my first official day of Spring Break, preparing to fly to DC with 14 students in tow. There are many loose ends to tie up before we go. And, I need to start thinking about packing! I guess Forensics and parent/teacher conferences have been taking up all my time.

We started out with the idea of traveling with an agency. The guy who called me sounded really cute on the phone. Hence, Andrea and I dubbed him “the hot Smithsonian guy.” And, then Smithsonian guy transferred me to another agent, and once we saw how much cheaper we could make the trip if we did it ourselves, we turned down Smithsonian.

That began a long road of fundraising, organizing, planning, researching on the Internet, and keeping track of our money. It has been quite the challenge. I’m extremely excited to see the pay off! I also marvel at how people used to plan trips. Maybe they relied on travel agents more in the past. Andrea and I have done everything by the Internet and phone. I’m becoming an even bigger fan of google maps. You can mark out your route for the day by car, walking, or public transit! It’s fantastic.

So, why am I doing this? I know I love my students and want to give them a chance to get out of the county. I guess I love a challenge. I guess I don’t think through the decisions I make very thoroughly at times. :)

To top it all, I have an interview on Monday morning at the school where I have applied. And, I don’t have any navy pants for my navy suit jacket. Wonderful. I’m going to frantically search for some in Wichita on Sunday evening. Had I thought of this sooner, I could have bought some online. We all know that’s the only place I can find pants long enough. But, like I said, I guess I’ve been a bit consumed with everything else that has been going on. So, I choose to be optimistic about my last minute shopping trip to Wichita. I will find extra long pants at Gap, Express, or Banana Republic. All will be well . . .

Okay, okay. I’ll take my black jacket and pants along with me this weekend. :)

Time for a Change

It’s official. I’m moving in May! I resigned from my teaching job last week

I’m going to rent my grandparents’ house for a year as they transition into an apartment (where Grandma can more easily care for Grandpa, who has Parkinson’s) and as my Uncle Bill prepares to move his family back to Sterling for good. I’m excited to be able to help out my family, but I’m also excited for a new adventure, and for being closer to home. I haven’t enjoyed being all alone four hours away from home for almost four years.

Now, the search is on. I have found only one English opening near Sterling. It’s about 20 miles away, and the school is small just like South Central. I’m a bit leery of picking up too many preps again, but if this is the only job that is open, I’m going to have to take what I can get. If a job doesn’t open up or I don’t get the ones I apply for, I think I will sub every day. I’m not sure how all the details are going to work out if I don’t have a constant paycheck, but I suppose I can always learn to waitress or work at a store, if needed.

I am trusting in God to provide me with whatever it is I need next year. Meanwhile, I’ll be home this summer! Can’t wait to hang out with my family and work on the farm and have a nice long break from the daily work of teaching.