Monday, October 25, 2010

New background, new adventures

How do you like the new background?

I am currently in the process of applying to graduate school at Baylor. I'm not sure what will come of it, but I'm sending my application in nevertheless. I have a mountain of papers to grade and a GRE prep book waiting to be cracked open, but I have a terrible headache and can't seem to get anything done that requires much brain power. I usually reserve blog posts for when I have something important to say, but for write now I just want to do something simple that does not involve school in anyway. I take the GRE on Thursday so keep me in your prayers!

In other news, Will and I are running a 5k on Saturday, November 6th. I have been very good about getting outside and running, and now I am in the final stretch before the race. This 5k is a family tradition to honor my grandmother would passed away from a brain tumor. It's called the Angel Walk, and it helps to raise money for brain cancer research. Check it out and support the cause!

The last adventure for me is my current non-school book, Unchristian It is a book that was developed out of research conducted by the Barna group to explore the major negative perceptions of Christians by those outside of the church. The book is a challenging and insightful read, and I recommend it to anyone who is looking to deepen their faith. I have found several opportunities to begin conversations with people (Christian and not) based on my reading.

This is not a very exciting post. I promise to include a funny husband, dog, or student story next time.

Enjoy your Monday.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

English Class-- Room 223 with the Stutz

I intended to post about the new school year much sooner than October, but I am just now wrapping up my August/September to do list! Those of you in education probably are feeling about the same way.

This year has been a good one thus far. I am teaching four sections of English III and one section of Pre-AP English I. My students are WONDERFUL this year (all 126 of them!! That's a jump from my total of 108 from last year). In fact, they are so good that I am just now realizing how naughty my group was last year...

We have experienced many changes this year at MHS, and I have left school on several occasions feeling discouraged and exhausted. There are several mornings that I just don't want to get up and lock myself up in room 223- white walls, funny smells, trash on the floor, stolen pencils, wondering what the weather is like outside, eating an entire "meal" in 20 minutes- but then something magical happens as 126 faces flow in and out of 223. Somehow in the middle of discussing the format of an essay, Great Expecations, or the difference between participle and gerund phrases I am reminded of why I am there locked away in 223- all 126 reasons. As long as I enjoy being with my students I will continue to be a teacher. I truly believe there is no greater ministry, no greater calling, no more challenging profession than that of being a GREAT teacher. Being certified to teach is not difficult. Being in a classroom everyday is not very difficult. But making a difference in the lives of students is difficult. I love what I do some part of everyday, maybe not all day every day, but every day nonetheless.

For your enjoyment I will leave you with some of my favorite lines from my juniors' in class, timed persuasive essays. Oh high school!

Topic 1: Is boxing a viable sport or just a brutal enterprise?
-- "There is nothing better than watching two guys beat the piss out of one another."

Topic 2: Does society place too high a price on beauty?
-- "It really depends. Some brands are more expensive like Redken. Other, might I say cheap, brands like equate don't cost much. In some ways beauty is expensive in other ways, like equate, beauty doesn't cost much."

Topic 3: Is technology worth the risk to our health?
--"Advancements such as text messaging has taken away our face to face communication. Face to face communicate is important because you get to experience all of the five senses- hearing, touching, talking, tasting, and seeing."

Topic 4: Is the cost of space exploration worth the knowledge gained?
--"Haven't you seen Armageddon??"

I love my job.