Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Teacher Prays

Today my mind is reeling from the events of yesterday in Moore, OK. As a teacher, my heart shudders at the thought of a tornado ripping through a building full of students. Seeing it plastered on the news over and over is giving me many reasons to pray.

It is the final week of classes here at my high school. Generally that is a cause for great rejoicing and always that is a cause for heartfelt prayer as well. I don't know as we teachers discuss our prayers for our students much. I am sure that all teachers of faith do it, however. There are several kinds of prayers that we send up to the higher power keeping watch over our students as the travel through their years in our school.

Most often, we pray for those who are struggling for various reasons... personal, academic, and socially. These prayers are the obvious ones. The less obvious are the ones that involve where a student  might go but has not yet gone... choices we know they are wrestling with, futures they have yet to decide, and sometimes decisions we know they must make but are avoiding.

But today, I am praying for the students in a place I have never been. I am praying that many more of them will be found safely tucked away in spots in their schools that perhaps sheltered them. I am praying for the parents of those who will not be found among the survivors. I am praying for the rescue and recovery workers; a more paradoxically heroic and onerous task than I can even imagine. I am praying that the families who have lost all they own will be cared for and loved and reassured that they have those around them who will help.

And I am praying that my students will be spared from ever experiencing such horrible events of nature. Even as the storm clouds build outside on what could prove to be a severe weather day here in Missouri. I do not call such events acts of God... God does not act in this way. God was in those schools helping the teachers protect the little ones who hid beneath them in the storms. God is with the rescue workers digging with hope. God is acting through all of us sending money, blood donations, and whatever we can to aid them. Those are acts of God. We are acts of His love in the world. And He tells us, "Be still and know that I am God" - so today, I will be still and pray to Him.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Morning of Regrouping

The sun is shining beautifully in my window this afternoon as I sit and write. I love winter days like this, clear and cool, not brutally cold. With just enough deceptive sunshine to make you believe that February will, in fact, give way to Spring and possibly sooner than one hopes.

Had the day off classes today in honor of President's day - one week early, so as to give the kids a midwinter breather of 5 days while we go to the METC (Midwest Educational Technology Conference) tomorrow and Wednesday.

So I have had a "breather day" - never a bad thing. Often such days are provided by the weather as snow days, but we have remained virtually snow free this winter. Nemo missed us (mercifully) and now the buds on my forsythia bush are actually starting to swell in the sunshine.

The best thing that happened today was that I discovered my mentor, Hamilton Salsich, is alive and well. Ham is an educator of 45 years who lives up in CT and is still teaching at age 71! He is a brilliant guy who reads widely and thinks deeply about a variety of things that inspire his classroom and life. I have been following his blogs for almost 3 years now, and today I discovered that he hadn't posted about his classroom since last Oct. I immediately became concerned... wondering if in my absence, Hamilton had packed his bags and headed for the heavenly classroom... but he appeared online in response to my brief and somewhat fearful query about him. Seems he's been writing on a different angle than just English and didn't think he should post it on the Ning where I usually read him. I felt relief and then became more thoughtful.

In this crazy digital age we are in, how easy it would be to lose a dear friend and not discover it for quite some time! We are bombarded by emails, status updates, blogs, tweets, and news bytes. It seems like the stream of words, words, and more words is never-ending. And for a moment I felt quite small. Then I realized that Ham's voice was one that sounded clearly to me in all the cacaphony of cyberspace... and THAT made me realize that I need to think more and write more than I have been. The beauty of this thing called the internet, is that our thoughts can have an almost endless shelf-life, if we BOTHER to put them out here. There is something wonderful about that. Something I will need to think a lot more about in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

And A Happy New Year

Wow, what a difference a month makes! When I last wrote we were getting into the Holiday season and so much has happened in the month of December.

First, and sadly the worst, we had to say goodbye to our "fur kid" Chas on the first Sunday in December. He was just a little past 12 years old which everyone tells us is quite old for a greyhound. His heart and health were getting progressively worse and he developed a tumor on his head that could not be treated. It broke our hearts to say goodbye... I held him tightly as he went to sleep. I still cry when I think about him (and as I write this) but can't bring myself to think about another dog just yet. Chas was one of a kind... and our first "empty nest" dog... one that just Ed and I got to spoil. The holidays without him around were quite different and very quiet. No first snow walks or having him at the door all wet and snowy and ready for a treat.

The family kept us quite busy the rest of the month. December included stalking Santa with Sydney who sat and chatted with him not just once, but THREE times! (Great fun!) She had no problem with him asking her repeatedly what she wanted for Christmas and we got some great photos of her each time. You have to enjoy these moments while you can since they don't stay little "Santa lovers" all that long!

School went on hiatus as of Dec. 20th and we looked forward to the long break of 17 days. Ed spent 12 of them run over by some sort of respiratory bug (flu? don't know) that came on within 48 hrs of him getting his flu shot - so of course, we blame that for it. But he pressed on and enjoyed all the holidays and the kids - just tried not to breathe on us all.

First EVERYONE arrived, all the kids, grandkids, Ed's sister, Leon's folks - EVERYONE. The houses filled up, and we got set to celebrate.

Dec. 23rd was the first big day. Leon was ordained as a Lutheran Minister at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Such a wonderful day for all of us. Followed closely by Christmas Eve and Day celebrations. We had SO many happy moments and loads of laughter together.

When everyone left on the 27th and 28th, the house seemed way too quiet. We spent a quiet New Years Eve - which is pretty typical for us. And here we are - it's a new year and 363 days lie ahead that seem filled with possibility. Wishing you and yours all God's blessings as we embark on it together.