Friday, February 27, 2009

Soul Searching

Sometimes a little soul searching is required in life. Right now is one of those times for me. In my search, I came across this is a great quote from a speech given at BYU by John Groberg called, "What is Your Mission?":

“If we do not know what our mission is, if we are not sure, if we are uncertain as to whether we are in fact fulfilling it, or if we do not have the positive assurance in our lives that our actions and our performance are pleasing to our Father in Heaven, then it does not really matter what else we are spending our time doing--it is not as important as finding out what we should be doing and having the assurance that we are doing it. Or to put it another way, if we are really interested in doing our Father's will we had better pay the price--whatever price is necessary.”

The whole speech is amazing, though it's pretty long, so make sure you've set aside some good soul-searching time. :)

Despite my recent need for some soul searching, there are many things I KNOW, which I am grateful for. One of my favorite thoughts is the following:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn't serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking

so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we're liberated from our own fear,

our presence automatically liberates others."

~ From A RETURN TO LOVE by Marianne Williamson

Monday, February 23, 2009


Every year I give my students the assignment to explore the major events of their lives through various genres of writing. As one of those genres, I ask them to write a poem about themselves and their philosophies of life. I am always amazed by the things they come up with.

One of my students today wrote, "I say that life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forward." Don't I know it.

Below, I have posted my own version of the poem (I use it as an example when I introduce the assignment to them). Consider your own answers. It's fun...I promise.


I am a teacher and a student.
I wonder who built the box that we’re supposed to think outside of.
I hear a Broadway song blasting on my car stereo.
I see the spotlight hitting a newly painted stage on opening night.
I want to stand behind a waterfall and feel power of nature.
I am a teacher and a student.
I pretend that I am a famous author when I’m writing a story.
I feel anxious when I’m trying to make a big decision.
I touch the fog that rolls into the valley by my house at night.
I worry that I’m not doing my best.
I cry when I think that I've hurt someone's feelings.
I am a teacher and a student.
I understand that everything turns out alright in the end...even if not in this life.
I say that life is meant to be enjoyed, and we should all laugh more.
I dream of working for my own non-profit organization.
I try to change the world, one person at a time.
I hope that I can inspire others to care about the world, too.
I am a teacher and a student.

Trying to look at the glass half full...

Here's the thought that is keeping me going today:

Everything turns out alright in the end;
so, if it's not alright, it's not the end.

Hope it keeps you going, too.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring is Here!

Maybe not according to the official calendar, but I'VE decided that it's time for SPRING. No more snowy days, no more scraping ice off my windshield, and no more shivering every time I walk out my front door. In honor of this decision, I've changed my blog's background to reflect the approaching season. Spread the word; maybe we can get the weather to agree and actually bring spring sooner.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On!

Here's a good quote I found on love in honor of Valentine's Day:

"I am not a believer in love at first sight. For love, in its truest form, is not the thing
of starry-eyed or star-crossed lovers, it is far more organic, requiring nurturing and time
to fully bloom, and, as such, seen best not in its callow youth but in its wrinkled maturity.
Like all living things, love, too, struggles against hardship, and in the process sheds
its fatuous skin to expose one composed of more than just a storm of emotion–one of loyalty
and divine friendship. Agape. And though it may be temporarily blinded by adversity,
it never gives in or up, holding
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tight to lofty ideals that transcend this earth and
time–while its counterfeit simply concludes it was mistaken and quickly runs off to
find the next real thing." (Richard Paul Evans)

I hope that both you all and I may be blessed to have this kind of love to enjoy for all eternity.

I love you all!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Captain Obvious...

I work in a junior high, which inevitably means that I am constantly surrounded by teenagers whose frontal lobes are not fully developed. While sometimes they drive me nuts with their spacey tendencies and their repetitious questions, their semi-dysfunctional brains also result in some great comments that leave me chuckling quietly to myself (and occasionally laughing hysterically out loud).

Today's story is really short, and may not be as funny to you all, but it made my day.

After school, we were conducting testing for the 6th grade students that are applying for 7th grade honors English. They were taking a multiple choice test about various skills and content that is completely tangential to the story, so I won't mention it. I was walking around, monitoring, and a girl raised her hand. So, I walked over to see what her question was. As I got closer, I saw that her eraser was no longer connected to her pencil.

"Did your eraser just fall off?"

"Yeah, it fell off while I was erasing."

Now maybe this response isn't as obvious as I thought, but at the moment I thought, "When else would your eraser have fallen off? Did we really need that clarification?"

These are the thought processes of my students...aspiring HONORS students no less. Gotta love them!