Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Musings on Letters

Writing letter after wonderful letter. I understand, finally, why People of Old and even now cherish letters so much. The writer is captured on the page, forever to be found again in the marks from the pen. No matter how many times it is read, it feels fresh and just like a peaceful conversation under a blossoming apple tree, or a weeping willow on a perfect spring day. You can almost see the person next to you, and nearly every memory of and with them comes rushing back.

Letters are a wonderful thing. Take the time to write to the people you love. Emails just aren't the same, but better than nothing. Even a bit cheaper if you're trying to be frugal. But there is nothing like opening your mailbox and seeing your name personally scrawled onto an envelope. You don't know exactly what this mysterious envelope holds, only that it is for you. The curiosity tares at you as you tare at the envelope. Taking out the handwritten pages is a feeling you should never let grow old, no matter how many letters you receive.

So write to the people you care about.
Write to them today.
You will probably get a letter back.

Friday, April 13, 2012

what a mess

bookshelves overflowing with library books.
half the dishes are washed,
the other half are on the counters and table.
caterpillars trying to be butterflies.
floor needs vacuuming.
clothes need folding and hanging.
letters need writing.
still haven't fully unpacked from two weeks ago...
kettle is whistling.
one novel is waiting to be read
another, to be written.

the kitchen sinks are clogged.
homework is everywhere.
papers and projects and exams, oh my!
I think I'm catching a cold.
nearly out of cereal.
nearly out of patience.
sister coming to visit. (where will she sleep!)
bathroom could use a clean.
desk could use tidying.

Three Weeks 'Till School's Out For Summer

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Jesus Interposed His Precious Blood

Part of 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing', one of my favorite hymns

Here I raise my Ebeneezer,

Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be;
Let that grace now like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

He is risen!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Never Alone

You should go read this post, over at 'Stuff Christians Like.' Its a satire blog, but this post is rather lacking in it. Jon tells about the #1 thing he's learned while on the road speaking (as you can tell from the title...)

My favorite line:
"Being in God’s will doesn’t mean you won’t encounter obstacles or problems in your life. It means you won’t encounter them alone."

Books Instead of Movies

(If you think this post is going to be about the Hunger Games, or any other book-to-movie, sorry.)

My professor offers extra credit for a 700 word write up connecting a movie to our class topic of the day. You have to watch the movie within the last two weeks (or go rent it and watch it again), and you have to bring up the title during class to get it approved, and give everyone else a chance to watch it and do the write up.

Its a great idea, I think. It gets us students to think critically about whatever American Government Topic we are discussing that day. It gets us to apply what we talked about in class and read about in the chapter to a movie, which, as a future teacher, I think is a great way to 'trick kids into learning'.

One day, near the beginning of the semester, after class I asked the professor if I could read children or young adult books instead of watching movies. I could read a lot of thoughts on his face , one of which went along the lines of 'No one has really asked to read a book instead of watching a movie before, hmm.' Out loud, he said, 'Sure! I don't see why not!'

However, I've found that it is much more difficult to think of books that have to do with specific political issues, than it is to think of movies. With some help, though, I've found enough and I'm on my way to the maximum extra credit offered.

Hooray for books!

(If you're wondering, no- I have not seen the Hunger Games. Maybe I'll see it in a few weeks. Or when it comes out on dvd. We'll see.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

In Passing

I was at a conference recently, not the reading one, but a different one for teachers (and pre-service teachers).

Some friends and I were walking the huge, packed halls trying to find the room we were supposed to be in. The place is huge, and there are so many people, and we're already late, but we keep searching. Better late than never.

In passing, I heard one teacher say to another, "But its not in the standards, so I'm not going to teach it."


I realize the reality I am going to be teaching in, where we really do want the students to learn certain things by certain grade levels. I understand the reality of it. I do not know what the teacher was talking about, maybe it really was something that was okay to drop from her curriculum. But, how sad is that?

There is so much out there that our standards (Illinois, or Common Core even) don't cover (or wont, when they finish writing them). And thats expected. The standards can't cover everything. The students can't learn everything. I mean, the teachers can't even teach everything. Sometimes they don't even cover all the standards. But How Sad that things we love or things students love are being ousted from our schools because we just don't have the time and motivation to teach it. (Which reminds me of my conclusion to my post on Beowulf)

It is reality, I know.
But that doesn't mean I have to like it.
Or that I can't try to change it a bit when the 'pre-service' comes off my title, and I'm a full fledged teacher.

Monday, April 02, 2012


Sometimes you are really hard to get along with.
Sometimes you drive me crazy.
Sometimes we see things differently.
You've got to understand I don't get sarcasm.
You've got to understand I'm not taking as many classes as you, and that's why I can 'goof off''.
You've got to understand that I unwind differently than you.
I've got to remember you get stressed out.
I've got to remember many groups and people vie for your attention.
I've got to remember to take a deep breath and remember its not the end of the world.

We may not perfectly get along all the time, but we're still going to be friends because we are held together by something more than the superficial and surface level. We are sisters in Christ. We have many good memories together. And these little things aren't going to separate us-- not if I have anything to say about it.