Friday, April 10, 2009

Growing, Growing, And Gone...but hopefully not too far away

The neat thing about teaching in a small school for years and years is that you get to see whole families of students grow up. These eighth graders, who managed to squeeze into the first-grade desk are both the youngest children of families who sent all their children to our school. I taught them all. Two have graduated; two more graduate this year, one is a sophomore, and then these two. It's an honor to be part of the lives of these families and to watch the children grow up.

The desk, however, has its own history. I bought it at a school sale when my oldest daughter was two. She and her sister and brother sat in it--each in turn--then a little cousin from the city, then four little cousins from Texas, and finally, my grandson and grand-daughter. When they got a bigger desk for their playroom, I put this one in my classroom. It needs paint, of course, but I think, for sturdiness, you couldn't find a better desk.It has feet solidly planted on the the families of these students. They are fortunate kids.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My favorite time of year...well one of my favorites...

is when the wheat is green and luscious over all the little hills.

The red road stretches forward, and black cows graze in the fields.

Beside the road, the golden grass, awaits the month of May, when it will green and the wheat will gold, and the wind blows fiercely through the day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

As Classes Go....

...It's a good one.

Now I know you probably think that teaching 18 boys--all seventh or eighth graders--should be classified as hazardous to ones sanity, and you might be a little hesitant to commit to a class like this one every day for an hour, but you just don't know these guys.

They ask questions without being obnoxious and are obedient without being sullen. They are witty and pleasant and reasonably polite. I've only had to hold them late for lunch twice this year.

Here they are--taking a test on the lives of Samuel, Saul, and David, and--lest you think this test is easy--why don't you try to name the three sons of Zeruiah, or tell me who Ziba was...or Ishbosheth. These guy can do that...because they listen in class...and some of them even study outside of class.
Of course as soon as the test is over they play chess or stratego. It's an unwritten rule in this class that they may not talk until everyone is finished, but those are quiet games and you can whisper "check".

I never tell them when everybody is finished with the tests...shhh...because I love these times of peaceful quiet too.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Little Birds

Our lesson this morning was about opposed to peace. Sure the hard times will come, but they are not unknown to God. He has been ahead of us and behind us and is all about us.

It reminded me of last Monday's walk. I had decided to walk up to the gym instead of tread-milling there, but I waited a little for the afternoon heat to abate. By the time I started walking, the weather was perfect, and I arrived at the gym in good time, ready to face my white, toning dragons in their iron circle. It went well. (I'm up to fifty reps now and plan to keep adding until I can stay caught up to my age--like birthday candles. By the time I'm one hundred years old I'll be able to do 100--well, it might take me all day, but that's the plan) Anyway, back to the subject.

When I started walking home I realized that the wind had shifted. It was blowing fiercely from the north. As I hurried and fretted, things got worse. The temperature plummeted; I was shivering with cold; little pieces of straw, leaves, and Oklahoma red dirt drops, were hitting me in the face, and I wondered briefly if the wind was going to knock me over. Then I saw a little bird on the lawn beside the street. He was oblivious to the wind, hopping and poking about looking for bugs and such in the rippling grass. I wondered why the wind wasn't carrying him before it, tossing him into the branches like another sailing leaf. . .He was at peace; the winds raged over him, but he did no raging.

So I laughed and yielded to the pleasant joy of wind in my face; it wasn't far. I loved the walk...but I didn't eat any bugs; some things I'll leave to the birds.