Wrong And Possibly Dangerous

As I read the words of today’s blog title, taken from Julia Cameron’s discourse on the Basic Tools (to recover one’s artist), I knew they should be on a tee shirt, if not appear in the form of an embroidered motto on every piece of my wardrobe – like L & S for LaVerne and Shirley, only longer.

It sums up nearly perfectly the predominating feeling of most of my pre-Las Vegas existence. If not the feeling, at least it captures my sense of how most other people viewed me. Curious, eh? Access to these recesses has been made possible by the teaching of migrant literature, marriage to an even more unassimilated alien, and the freedom that comes of being born again. But I digress.

The intention was to write about the first meeting of Preparatory Composition, how well it went with so few in attendance and with me attempting less, accomplishing more. Our best guess is that students read the sign on the door posted about a colleague’s absence and decide it was me. It was wonderful having so few students. It almost felt as if I could actually think about and reach for each one personally. Imagine if that were the reality. What would Parker Palmer say? What would the findings of the Remedial English committee be then! If I were not so tired after my return to aquacize after a two-week absence, I’d continue this on the laptop. As it is, I’ll add this blog to my gratitude list and call it a night. Dinner’s about ready.

The Challenge As Ambassadors For Christ in Classrooms

In her devotional, Living A Divinely Inspired Life, Dr. Elizabeth Babatunde discusses 1 Thessalonians 1:8, noting:

“A life worthy of imitation is one that is surrendered to be used as a tool in the hands of God, to display His awesome power and glory.

What do people see when they see you? If someone walked in your shoes for 24 hours, what would they learn about Christ?”
1 Thessalonians 1:8 KJV:

“For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.”

See more at YouVersion.com:

http://bible.us/1Thess1.8.KJV

My present opportunity is to surrender at home as readily as I do at the College and in Adult Sunday School and let the Holy Spirit have Its unimpeded way.

As a new short semester commences, may grace and mercy encircle us as we abandon our will for Thine.

End of Semester Blues

Full of anticipation for Spring Break, I enter what I fantasize will be the last leg of the grading relay only to notice myself idly surfing the web about an hour after confirming an act of plagiarism in the first student’s paper. We are both only human.

Having shifted directions psychologically, I am now running into the wind, instead of experiencing the tailwind I’d hoped for. Must soldier on. Why does it seem to take so much out of me every time this happens? Why do I persist in the notion that kids educated in Vegas get ethics lessons along with their Three Rs? This kid from the Bronx didn’t.

Why do I continue to believe that what is written in the syllabus, is not only read and understood, but translates the very same semester into actionable knowledge? What will it take for me to allow patience to have her perfect work and appreciate in theory and in practice the great wisdom popularized by Mark Twain but earliest attributed to the timeless Sufi teacher Mulla Idris Nasrudin:

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

While I recover, I jot notes for the first lecture in the Preparatory Composition class that begins after break, new swimming metaphor and all. I write this blog entry in lieu of feeding the hunger that is only 30% emotional, reactive. I call my husband who today is just around the corner, wondering if he’s up for lunch, beautiful day that it is, despite the internal and dispersing clouds.

Leaning Into Spring Break

It always happens yet I cannot understand it. Every semester, in the last week or so, I begin building the assignments and activities for the next. I do it to the exclusion of everything else – sleeping and grading current students’ final submissions as well. I think it has something to do with ‘leaving for America’. Perhaps that’s a bit too convenient. Perhaps it is simply a defense mechanism to delay my encounter with this cyclical reality: I will miss my students. If ever there were a time I am reminded of my feet of clay, powerlessness over my own addiction to exhaustion, this is it.