Friday, September 25, 2009

Flippers on Land

I've spent a portion of my life being unwise. This is pretty typical to humankind, right? I've made poor decisions in clothing, meals, finances, traffic, and relationships, to name a few. It's just what happens. We try to make the best choices we can, but for whatever reason, I failed.

It took me a while to realize that those poor choices didn't define me. But what they did do was allow me to grow. Some people get stuck in these choices and situations and it weighs them down for the rest of their days. God has taken that from me, I believe. The strength of character that I exhibit today is highly dependent on the idea that I shedded the negative and moved on ahead. Did I have to make those poor choices in order to be in this spot today? Well, I don't know. I think some people have to suit themselves up in wetsuits and flippers and to flop around on land for a little bit only to discover for themselves that it doesn't work so well that way. Stubborn? Yes. Necessary? Who can say?

All that aside, I have developed a strong foundation. It's who I am. None of that other stuff has carried over due to a very gracious God.

So imagine my surprise when I find that not everyone realizes this. Sometimes our past choices get picked up by others like burrs in a cotton sock. They work their way into the flesh of our loved ones so that they can't possibly see beyond it and suddenly we find ourselves judged again.

I want someone to be able to put aside the troubles of the past and to look forward with me in hope. I was ready to move into a wiser spot in my life, so here I am. I'm not looking back or wishing that things were different. I am who I am.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pet Peeve #1

Ok, people. I presently have 540 students. This is my sixth year of teaching, which means that I have taught over 1100 students. I am pretty good with names, I think. Well, Lisa will probably read this and completely disagree. It's true. Those little guys... 1st grade and under... they are tough. For the most part, though, I know my kids names.

Mya and Sarah teach kids named Sayuki and Yuki and Tayuka (I don't really know this as a fact - I am guessing) I can imagine it's probably pretty tough at first to match names with faces. Knowing their names, in itself, is a challenge.

Even harder is memorizing the exact spelling of every child's name... C-A-I-T-L-Y-N or K-A-T-E-L-Y-N or K-A-I-T-L-I-N. A-I-D-A-N or A-Y-D-E-N or A-Y-D-A-N. What about J-H-A-Y-D-E or when I've got a H-A-L-L-I-E pronounced Hayley or a H-A-L-E-Y pronounced Hallie or a Braden and Brendan in the same class? Michayla Mikahla MiKayla McKenna Kenna Kennedy. How about twins? And then there's the nearly identical siblings. GEEZ!!!! Considering this predicament, I'm pretty proud when I can name 95% of my students right off the bat.

So you can imagine my lack of compassion when a parent mentions how her daughter will be devastated that I spelled her name wrong on a sheet that was to be posted on my door for two days. Devastated? Really? She will have her feelings hurt. Oh, precious. How could that nasty music teacher have dared spell your name wrong? Now, I understand that I need to have correct spellings on printed items like programs - it's precious grade school memorabilia for Pete's sake. But I am not going to spend the ridiculous amounts of time to look every child's name up in each class to find the exact spelling on a piece of paper that is notifying a group of children of some minor detail. Really. That is a waste of taxpayer money. So if your daughter is so sensitive about her name being spelled wrong, you might want to tell her to tighten up her bootstraps and to grow a pair because she's frankly lucky that no one is calling her a doodyhead or divotface.