Saturday, January 9, 2010

Windmills in the Sunset

Such Angels

The fifteen boys in my Bible class this year are like stallions--full of energy and enthusiasm. If they are discussing the assignment, they discuss it with vigor; playing chess or Stratego, likewise; taking advantage of a few freetime minutes...well they enjoy themselves. Fortunately, the powers that be have seen fit to give me efficient reins. It is our privilege to go first to lunch...that is, if the teacher feels the class deserves to go to lunch early and is "ready" to go to lunch. The first video is taken at the end of class during a few minutes of the aforementioned "free time". The second is taken two minutes later, as the second hand of the clock approaches lunch time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Bouquet of Girls

I've promised my last hour class that they could star in their own post. Of course, I'm not going to use their real the question arises: "What shall I call them?"

Now naming is one of my favorite things to do. In fact, if having children and raising children had not been so time consuming, expensive and fraught with difficulty, I would have had at least fourteen, just so I could name them. (As it was, I did give each of my own children three formal names, and a couple of nicknames.) I'm not going to have any more children to name, so this is a great opportunity to be expressive. I've decided to give them all flower names.

On the back row we see Saffron and Evanna, standing tall in the sunshine.
Planted in front are: Elodie, Jasmine, Kalina, Acacia, Tulip, Roselaine, and Columbine.
Such a sweet little bouquet!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January Sky

Don't be deceived by this cuddly-looking little pink sky. It's cold out there. This was our early morning view. At seven twenty, we stopped to add extra gas to the tank (just in case we got blown off the road by a roaring wind and were forced to run the heater to stay unfrozen in this below zero wind chill factor)

Still, all my riders were anxious to get to school and not skip the day like so many schools in the capitol are doing. After all, we have basketball games tonight. Life is an exciting prospect...
...and, most importantly, it's Tori's birthday! She brought cookies for the class; she is old enough for make-up and a facebook account. Fortunately, the weather can't put a freeze on all that!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wheels Turning

Most of the time when I find myself saying to my students, "Do you understand?" it means I feel certain they don't. They have a certain blank stare that sings: "Oh I'm far far off in another place, and the words you say bounce off my face". At times like these I feel that I'm making about as much sense as a scolding prairie dog preaching from his little hillock of earth.

But every now and then ...there's a different atmosphere in the room--wheels turning. As a teacher, I've come to appreciate that certain look in the eyes of students. It's invigorating to see an idea catching hold of a brain or sometimes a lot of brains at once and pulling them along. The students even look different at such times, for they sit quite still, paralyzed with the new knowledge. Suddenly, they are eager for silence, wanting the truth to sink into their brain and find other situations to affect. Then they start to wonder at the different light it brings to each of those. It's a great feeling when the bell rings on totally quiet moments such as these, and nobody moves.

I'm privileged to witness this often in high school students. But over Christmas, I watched it over and over as my five year old grandson played with a little microscope. He was mesmerized by all the new things he saw...and weren't you? Think about it--the first time you saw the ocean? the mountains? the Grand Canyon? a large cave with curtains of rock and stalactites hanging down? a bat's wing? We live in an amazingly intricate world and there is such wonder to quieten us in awe. So, here the little fellow sits, huddled on the floor with his microscope quietly marveling, as the twenty-two other people in the room talk boisterously, play loud games and lively ones, snack on too much sugary stuff, and catch up on a year's worth of each other's lives.