so much love


I’ve been blog-less lately. I blame it on the following three facts:

1. All semesters I’ve ever had to deal with ended early to mid December, before Christmas. Where I live now, no such thing is true. And while I have a big huge fatty vacation coming up… one that’s basically like a summer, only in the middle of a cold winter (which is a little bit less fun) … I haven’t had a break YET. And I’m done. I’ve hit my wall. I want a break. Thank you. Very. Much.

2. It’s finals time. Remember when you were a student? Or maybe you are one now. Think about how enjoyable your finals were NOT. Now, did you know that it was also not enjoyable for your teachers? I have over 300 students and for two weeks I am giving them oral finals, one at a time. I do not bounce actively around the non-heated classroom like normal. I sit still. I listen. I type notes and grades in excel. And I freeze. My fingers turn purple. My brain turns to mush as I contemplate how I can get my students to actually use pronouns correctly and to not say “doctor” when what they mean is “daughter.”

3. My awesome mom and grandparents bought me a kindle. I can not… stop… reading.

But I’d like to take a minute… just sit right there… I’ll tell you… (read that again in Fresh Prince mode)…

about the part of giving finals that I am absolutely LOVING.

My final has two parts. Part 2 delights me. I show the student a picture. They have 30 seconds to look at it and then they have to talk about it for 1 minute. What they do not know is that the pictures are of people and places that are precious to me. The picture that pops up on a screen might be of kids I played with in a slum in India, Rachel and Tawni’s boys splashing in the mud, Ben and Lauren with a cupcake, Heather and Keith on their wedding day, Jon holding kids in Haiti, the Webster family on Christmas morning, my kids in Vietnam, Amber and Corrienne in the Amazon, Jenny and her niece, Erin and Jen wearing goofy hats… You get the point. I put these pictures onto the screen and my students look at them with awe. Often the first words they say are,When I look at this picture, the first word I think of is love. There is so much love in these people.” I’m amazed at the things that the pictures of all of YOU are communicating to my students. They don’t know that I know you. They don’t know that as they describe what they see in the pictures I’m often on the edge of tears as I think, “Yes. The love that you see in that picture is real.”

So, while I am tired and ready for this semester to be over (and apparently unmotivated to write blogs) … I am continually reminded that I am blessed to have so many loving people in my life.

:) Thanks for living lives that speak volumes through pictures, during finals, on the other side of the world. :) My students love looking at you and I love listening to them describe you.

PS All of this definitely means I stole your pictures off of facebook. :)

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