Saturday, May 29, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
To add to the change, there are some definite changes going on in my career and personal life! In anticipation of starting a family in the relatively, possibly, not-so-distant, yet not-so-immediate future (was that vague enough for you??), I have decided to scale down my work just a bit and begin transitioning into new roles. Instead of teaching a full load, I will only teach two classes. Instead of serving on my school admin team, I will now be the school librarian and possibly the literacy specialist. For the meantime, I will also keep my job as district English content specialist. I know, this doesn't sound scaled down, but believe me, it is!! I'm very excited about becoming the librarian. I mean, who gets to recommend books to kids all day? Also it will be the perfect flexible job once we do decide to add a baby to our family. But all this change is a little scary... I have always taught full time, so it was really, really weird to see the new schedule with my name on only two classes. I'm having to give up 7th grade English to other people. However, I know it is a necessary change.
And now for the biggest change of all... I have decided to go to grad school. I know: this is insane. I thought so myself for a very long time. However, about a year ago, God began speaking to me quietly with the idea of going back to grad school. I NEVER thought I would want or need to get my masters, but now I think God is very clearly leading me in this way. I'm frustrated that I did not get my masters earlier, but I trust that God's timing is perfect, and he has put it on my heart now, so I believe this is the right time. I spent all year studying for the GRE, applying to schools, and trying to figure out what is best. In God's infinite faithfulness, everything has fallen into place, and I have been accepted into what I think is the absolute most perfect masters program for me. This summer, I will begin attending school here:
Columbia University! I'm going to be getting a Masters in the Teaching of English at Teachers College (the education grad school at Columbia). Teachers College has played a huge part in my development as a teacher. I have attended three teaching institutes there that took my teaching to the next level. I always dreamed of getting a masters at Columbia, but never thought it would actually happen. Don't worry... I'm not moving to NYC permanently! I'm going to be getting my masters through a program for practicing teachers. The classes are three weeks in the summer in NYC for three summers. Then I will take one online class each semester back in Houston. It's actually a great deal... I get to live in NYC for 3 weeks each summer, but I don't have to attend any face-to-face classes during the busy school year.
I am elated that I found a program that meets my needs so perfectly. And to have a masters from Columbia will be not only a personal dream come true, but hopefully an asset in the future as I seek to have more flexibility in my job. I hope that it will open up opportunities to work in education for a long time without being a full time teacher. So... want to come visit me in NYC? I will be there for the entire month of July! I am very excited but also very nervous. Do I still have what it takes to be a student? Can I be away from Brent & Blazer for that long? Can we even pay for this? Am I crazy? Definitely not sure, but I trust God's provision and can not deny that things have fallen into place in a supernatural way. Also, Brent plans to come visit, so I won't have to be without him... which will help lots :-)
As much as I hate change, the thing I love most about change is that it always drives me to the Lord. When I would fret for hours about grad school decisions, I would involuntarily begin to say a prayer for wisdom. When I saw the new schedule with me teaching only two periods, I immediately prayed, "Lord, remind me how you are unchanging." God uses these moments of change and uncertainty to force us to rely on him. This is where I always want to be, so I'm learning to savor these moments of change rather than dread them.
So here's to the next year and whatever other changes may come our way!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I grew up in a white house. Not THE White House, but definitely a white house. I love my mom and dad dearly, and they have since ventured into the world of color, but growing up, the walls were to remain white. I think it was probably just the trend in the late 80s/early 90s. Now that I think of it, I don't remember having any friends with colorful painted homes either. You mostly had wallpaper or white.
In my childhood room, one wall was wallpapered with pink ribbons and the others were white. My sister had one wall of wallpapered bears, and the others were white. I bet my mom could tell early on that I had a penchant for color when I used to beg her to let me paint the outside of our house. The idea that my mom would ever even consider letting me paint the outside of the house is of course laughable, but I asked a lot. To appease me, she gave me large painter's brushes and a bowl of water and told me to go at it. It's embarrassing to admit, but I painted the front of our house with water multiple times in my childhood. I liked how it made the bricks a little darker for a moment. My mom liked how I was cleaning the outside of the house for free. Well played, mom... well played.
When I was in high school, I earned all of my extra money by babysitting. There was one family who had me as a nanny all summer. I took care of their son Timothy. Boy that kid loved to play sports outside in the 100 degree summer weather. But the point is that Timothy had the coolest house. Timothy's mom also loved color, and she had boldly painted every single room a different color. The colors were not loud or tacky. They all worked together to make the house welcoming and warm. As I walked through those rooms while babysitting, I would think to myself: SOMEDAY, I will have a house and every room will be painted a different color.
Well, my someday was finally realized last weekend when the last of the paining was done in our house. I now have a room for every color of the rainbow except orange, because let's be serious, Brent would never allow that. I have rooms that are red, yellow, green, blue, purple, and brown. OK brown is not in the rainbow, but it's still a color! I give you: The House of Many Colors:
Guest Bedroom: Behr Torchlight
- Always use flat paint. It looks much more sophisticated.
- Take home lots of chips from the store and tape them up on the wall. Use samples if they sell them. You want to pick just the right shade, so look at the colors in lots of different light before you pick one.
- Be really nice to your husband so he will hire you a painter. This is key. If you think I painted all that... you are out of your mind.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
So at YES, going to college is a BIG DEAL. We basically hype it up for 6 years. Every May, we have something called "Senior Signing Day". Maybe you're a football fan and you watch on TV when high school seniors across the country sign their letters of intent to join a college sports team. Our is like that, but instead of celebrating sports, we celebrate college acceptance. It is on this day that every student and teacher in the district gathers (about 4,000 people) to watch each senior jubilantly reveal the college they will attend. You might think you had stumbled into a Lady GaGa concert with the amount of noise, craziness, and excitement that goes on at this event. It is so fun to see even little kids excited about college.
Just to give you a taste of how big of a deal this was for us, the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, was the keynote speaker.
This is Leo. He is an extremely talented artist and super smart. He will be attending A&M. Whoop! This is Noe. Super quiet, super sweet. And, oh yeah... he's going to Vanderbilt. This is Eddie. The charmer. Prom court. First generation college student. Yep, that's Dartmouth. It gives me chills to think how proud his parents must be. Here is a big group of them, all showing off their new college pride. Here is a a video taken by a local news station. I think it does a good job of capturing the event!Finally, I will leave you with a video of the "YES Prep Yell". Aggies are taking over YES, and now we have a new tradition of yells, just like at A&M. Each campus has their own yell, and we have an all-YES yell. There is even a pass-back!