Oh, hey, blog.

What’s this blog thing I have?

I’ve had many topics to write about in the past few months, but until two weeks ago, no time to write about them, and since then, no motivation. I have been and still am waiting for that urge of inspiration, which forms my best posts.

Something that has been on my mind lately is the wonder and beauty of being 18. I’m just loving my seniors this year (as usual!) because there is just something about being 18. . . I know I don’t want that entire year of my life back (angst to the max!), but I’d love to have some of the amazing moments and feelings and energy of that year back. Good times! And I wish I could sit and observe myself back then, knowing what I know now, and thinking of how that young girl would prepare herself for her future. If I’d told my 18-year-old self where I would be here in 2014, I’m sure I would have a) yelled at myself that I was wrong and b) cried and worried a lot. But, being here where I am now is no crying matter, and it’s JUST RIGHT for me. It is a good thing that we aren’t told our futures, for it would change too much of our pasts. (Sidenote: Think about that in an Interstellar way (oh my, there’s a blog topic! Have you SEEN that movie? AMAZING! One of the few movies I’d like to go see again in the theatre!)

An eighteen year old, according to our society, is entering adulthood. I’m sure 18 year olds today are much less mature and responsible than the 18 year olds of my mother’s and grandmother’s generations; yet, in some ways, today’s 18 year olds are more mature and responsible. They sure have to deal with a lot more. Life isn’t nearly as simple as it used to be, and there is so much more that we know now.

I think the best thing about an 18 year old is the unlimited possibilities that lie ahead for him or her. I am so anxious to see where these students of mine end up. How they grow and change and succeed. And, at the same time, I wish we could just stop time right now and enjoy the wonder of their 18 year old lives right now. There’s just something about being 18.

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Book Review: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Keep Life Simple

I’d been wanting to read this little gem for quite some time. I finally bought it at a Christian bookstore before Christmas Break, thinking I’d have plenty of time to devote to it. And, I did have the time, which was a good thing because this book is very dense. Voskamp’s writing style in this, her first novel, is difficult to define–entrancingly poetic, jarringly unconventional, and even a bit pretentious? It was not always an easy read for me because I would have to reread the sentence to figure out which grammar rule she didn’t follow, such as putting an -ly on an adverb or using a noun as a verb (English teacher problems).  This style usually enhanced the writing more than diminishing it. Take this description of a soap bubble as an example: “In the light, the sheerness of bubble shimmers. Bands of garnet, cobalt, flowing luminous.” This unconventional…

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You Never Regret It

Running has become a sort of hobby for me over the past six years. I say “sort of” because it comes and goes in spurts. The most regular I have been about running was my last summer of grad classes at Hays. I got up every morning before class for three weeks straight (21 days makes a habit, right?), with the simple goal of running a bit further each day. This experience stretched and built my stamina and prepared me to run a 5K (quite the feat for this girl who was told by her high school track coach that she “ran like a girl,” and who has been accused of walking around like an infant giraffe, and who has never been a fast sprinter, runner, or jogger).

However, the week of the first 5K I was going to run happened to fall after a string of exhausting events: I moved to a new town, injured my knee by tripping over the smooth, flat pavement (Hey, I never said I was good at running!) started a new job, and began coaching volleyball. I promptly allowed running regularly to fall by the wayside.

And you all know how easy it is to let a discipline nearly disappear from your life. And it’s hard to get back into it! Since then, I had become a more regular runner (as regular as running four to ten times a month can be), until this year. I believe I allowed four and a half months to roll by without running. I’ve done a lot of walking, but I just had no will to run.

All of that changed last Tuesday when I made myself get out there and see how far I could run in thirty minutes. I ran an average of 11.5 minutes per mile for 30 minutes. WOW, did it feel good! My legs were feeling the burn as I ran, and I’ve been sore every day since then. I did it again today and ran even further!

I now have regained that feeling I used to get as an athlete which I can’t quite put into words. It’s probably just my muscles repairing themselves after I’ve stretched and torn them from their semi-sedentary state, but honestly, it feels GOOD. I want more! I can’t wait to get out there and run again on Monday! One of my friends once said something to the effect of “No matter how little I wanted to get out of bed to go running, I never regret going out for a run.” It’s so true. After runs, I think more clearly, I’m less stressed, I am more positive, I make better food choices, and I get more accomplished. I hope to put all of this work into a road race or two before I turn 30 in September! :)

Putting a title on these posts is optional. Good. Because I cannot put it into words, try as I may. While walking home tonight, I happened to glance upward and find a clear, clear night sky full of stars. I was compelled to drive out of town to see them better. They did not disappoint.

And, I can’t put it into words. The peace I felt. The awe I felt. And upon further reflection, the love I felt. God created that vast expanse of space that surrounds Earth. Vaster than I can imagine.

Yet. . .

He wants me to know him. How could I be worthy of knowing someone so great and powerful? What merit do I have to make him mindful of me?

I’m not worthy. I don’t have the merit.

Yet. . .

He loves me still.

There are no words.

A Rainy Friday Night

This morning I woke up to a wonderful thunderstorm. We haven’t had rain here since early December! It has been raining on and off all day and should continue through tomorrow until snow arrives in the evening. What a pleasant Friday night (because I DO love rain) in February, and I found the perfect way to celebrate!

Lots of marshmallows!

 

Blogging

The devoted followers of my blog (read: my mother, brother, and sister) have been telling me they want me to blog again. I’m not sure what to write about, so I’ll put it to a vote. Which of the following should I share with you?

My love for and opinions about Tim Tebow?

My recent foray into online dating?

The end of yet another year as a single woman?

The beginning of yet another year as a single woman?

Oh, the possibilities! :)

Let me know which you’d like to hear about!

 

Starting Over

I’ve been reflecting lately about the many things I’ve had to start from scratch with after moving to a new place. Here’s a list.

  • My age. I have had to tell several people that this is my 5th year of teaching, not my 1st. At my last job, I was the young one and the “new” one, and that was fine with me. One lady even commented, “They sure are making them young these days” when she found out I was a teacher, and I was probably flattered that she thought I looked more like I was 18 than 24. But, here, I want to be seen as a 5th year teacher. I really DO know what I’m doing (more often than not, that is). I want to be older!  Assuredly, my current students don’t sway my opinion on my age either way. One told me he thought I was about 40, but then today at our Forensics meet, a kid came up and asked me if I broke finals in Prose. Eh, kids. Love them!
  • Forensics. I ‘ve had to start all over. It’s been a challenge. The biggest thing to work on is convincing kids that it can be a team sport where we take a full team and compete to WIN meets, and stay at the meet all day and support each other, etc. My assistant coach helped me facilitate that better at my last job. I’m all on my own here. So, next year, I’m going to try to promote more of a “team” mindset. But first . . .
  • Forensics Practice. NOW I remember my first year of teaching, when I wanted to ditch this whole Forensics coaching gig because who cares about Forensics? It was because the process of building a team takes serious work. And, lots of nagging, getting kids to come in and practice. No different here! :) I hope students saw how much fun it can be this year, so they’ll put more effort in next year. Forensics is truly one of those activities that is only as good as the kids want it to be. I am confident that I can take them to a high level of competition, but they have to take the initiative to come in and work.
  • Classroom Climate. I had a solid system and rapport in place with my students by year three at my last job. This year, I would change many things about the proverbial foot I started out on. It wasn’t the wrong foot. It was just the foot that seems to have a little sprain in it. Sometimes I tell myself, “I shouldn’t have said that.” Or “This is getting us nowhere.” Or “Too much personal information.” The tricky thing about establishing that system and rapport here is that I won’t have the same group of students next year. But, I can always count on my favorite motto in teaching: “It’ll be better next year!”
  • Friends. I dearly miss my Com. Co. friends. Of course, I knew this was coming. I very clearly remember the first year on the job with virtually no friends to hang out with. It’s just that this time around, I’m much less patient. After all, I’m not working non-stop with lesson plans and prep every night. I have more time to be impatient about finding friends and settling in.
  • Community. I LOVE people. Always have. They intrigue me. Especially when groups of them are interconnected in small communities. I am starting to figure out family connections here just like I did in Com. Co. However, it doesn’t seem to be as simple. The communities aren’t as close-knit as the county-wide community I came from. It’s not bad. Just different.  Honestly, I have more anonymity here, which I am enjoying.
  • Church. When I started going to Antioch five years ago, I would get butterflies before walking into the church and then leave right away at the end of the service. That is, until I got to know people. :) Wonderful people with fantastic hugs for me every Sunday! :) Now, at the city church I’m attending, one of my pastor’s wives (who has been very warm and welcoming towards me) has finally convinced me to stop darting out at the end of the service, and stick around and talk to people instead. I also joined their small group. It’s getting better. But, it is definitely different. A much larger church in a city with many people I don’t know. It will take time.