The Last Class

Today was the last day of classes for my Masters degree in English. The listening, notetaking, and discussing is over, and now I can concentrate on writing papers (five of them) and studying for the comprehensive exam in March. If all goes as planned, I will graduate in May of 2011!

I’m a bit apprehensive about having enough time to get my papers finished before May because Thursday isn’t the new Friday anymore. My new school is not on a 4-day week, so all those weekends I spent last year writing three papers? Non-existent. However, I one less prep at my new school, so there might be more time. But, really, there won’t. With a new school, new texts, new students, and a volleyball season to coach, I will struggle to find time to write.

It’s amazing how much work goes into teaching. Once the first day has passed, it is literally non-stop work until the end of May. At least, it has been for me these first four years. Maybe the fifth is easier? I hope so! That way I can write my papers, take my exam, and then I won’t HAVE to read another book for the rest of my life.

Of course, I will read books. Just not books that come from a list put together by a professor. Rather, I will read the books that have been waiting on my shelves for so many years. Ooo! And books that I buy because they sound interesting! I have a list!! I can’t wait! :)

A random note: if you have an iPod shuffle, use it to go running! It is fabulous.

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Hope is the thing with feathers. . .

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson’s poem describes my life right now. I’m hopeful for the future (even though I’m working on wretched grad school papers from the past that are preventing me from focusing on the future). A new job. New people. A new apartment to decorate (not that I did much with the first set of living quarters, but here’s hoping!).

Just last weekend, I had a down day. One of those days when you feel like nothing is going right, you don’t want to do anything, and you certainly don’t want to do nothing. But, I’m glad those times only last a little while because I have so many reasons to be hopeful. God is good. Even when we are not. He is always there, even when we haven’t cared to spend time with him at all. God has plans for me, and that is what makes me hopeful.

“Sweetest in the gale is heard” the bird of hope. That means that hope is most cherished and longed for when one is going through a tough time. It reminds me of the Casting Crowns song, “I’ll praise you in this storm.” When things are going bad–that is the time when we ought to praise Him most. Take delight in His word. Trust in His grace.