Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The End of the Year

This is more of a journal entry, enjoy if you would like, ignore if you wish.

May 26, 2009

I am just overwhelmed with gratitude today. The end of ever year brings a new awakening in me that I need to describe in as great detail as I possible as I can because as sure as the sunset sets, this feeling passes all too quickly. I had my students do one final assignment. Sometimes I feel a bit guilty about making them complete this assignment because in a way, I know I am fishing for reassurance, grasping for any type of comments that would make me conclude that I really did do my job, that my students are better people for stepping into my classroom. So the statement I have them write is, “How I am a different person from who I was when I walked into this classroom nine months ago.”
I was curious to hear the answers this year, because quite frankly, there were a lot of times when I felt like I completely failed. I asked the students basic questions that I felt they should know, and they would stare at me clueless. Every time this happened I felt like an udder failure. Every time every confidence in my ability to teach would fly out the window! It would make me question all over again why the heck I am teaching! There are so many aspects of teaching that I hate so much. I have yet to determine if it is my intelligence or my ignorance that makes me hate formal education so much but whatever it is, it is KILLING me! I sit in these masters classes for hours and hours hearing about education and the more I think about it, the more I despise the way we go about educating children today. Yesterday I was getting especially discouraged because we were discussing how to evaluate teachers. I was starting to realize that I really am the horrible teacher that we were discussing… the teacher that every principal hates. I don’t make students sick perfectly still, I don’t make them copy worksheets out of the books, I let them sleep if they want to, I don’t threaten them with their grade, I must be a horrible teacher. By the time I got home from my 14 hours of “education” yesterday I was done. I was ready to throw in the towel. So when I read the responses of my students to that question I was absolutely blown away. So I guess it’s the low of lows that make the high of highs so sweet. So here are just a few of my favorite responses from my students.

Learning about problems and history and challenges people around the world has taught me to be optimistic and open to other people’s thoughts/ideas/issues. I want to be like Gandhi, Mother Teresa or Joan of Arc or any character that has shaped the world greatly for the better. At first I wanted to be an NFL player… but then I realized… all the quarterbacks in the world could never measure up to the greatness of Gandhi or the leadership of Caesar. I want be a hero. Not a super man but a real life hero. – Shawn

Miss Parson really cares about American and the world so much that she would take the crappiest job possible just so she can teach us to make a difference. At the beginning of the year if you have asked me about the welfare of the world I would have said, “F#$% the world, I don’t care.” Now if you asked me the same question I would think about it and consider the consequences and results of my answer. If we could teach everyone to be the way kids are when they leave this class, it would be great. Miss Parson truly has made a difference. Miss Parson has taught me that I can make a difference too. Thank you Miss Parson. – Cael

Some of the things I have learned this year and would like to thank you for are the following:
- We should WANT an education
- We should communicate with other cultures.
- We should lead a more advanced civilization.
- We should always be truthful and honest
- We should understand others beliefs.
- We should do so much more… the thing is, we should do a lot, the truth is, we don’t.
Thank you Miss Parson for showing me these things I should and now… I want to go do what we “should” do. – Riley

Miss Parson showed me to care for things I never have before. But what I liked the most is, she made me ask… why? – Jordan

There is so much more to geography then timelines and color-coordinated maps. There is a difference in knowledge and wisdom. For example, you may know the population per square mile in Honduras but what are they like? What struggles do they face? In this class I have learned wisdom. I have learned the similarities and differences between cultures and religions that cause so much contention. I’ve learned that understanding these differences can create a world of peace. I have witnessed the possibilities that even the smallest people can accomplish something great. I have recognized a sense of hope for the generations to come and ours, to learn wisdom, and to have virtue, and practice integrity. I understand the potential each of us has to succeed and progress beyond our imagination. – Kirsten

Half of the stuff I have learned in this class isn’t even about geography. It’s about life, about being a better person, about finding the better things in life such as love, caring for other people, accepting other people and looking at life from a whole new point of view. I have really amazed myself, personally, how I have changed and have been striving to be a better person. – Rylnn

If the whole world would learn one simple concept we would be better off. This concept is ‘to do what is right and not what benefits yourself” – Kevin

Thanks to this class I want to learn more about history and why things happened the way they did. I am done with not caring about my history, I want to know. – Beth

I am a different person because I care. – Christina

And these responses are why I am still a teacher.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Can't wait for heaven.

Caution... I'm in one of my sentimental moods.

I don't really know what has spurred on this most recent sentimental mood, but on my run this morning I was just feeling sad. I don't know if it is because one of my best friends entering the MTC this morning, or because I was starting to miss my students, but I am sad just thinking about all the wonderful people that enter our lives for what seems like moments then drift out almost as quickly as they came. The people that you laugh with, you cry with, and when you are with them you just know that life is going to be okay. The type of people that just help you put life into perspective. The ones that give you comfort that this life is but a moment and it is meant to be enjoyed. I almost try to put into words what these relationships are like, but rarely am able to find the right words to describe it.

Sometimes I feel like I should come with a warning label: "Caution, don't get too close to Kristin or she'll never let you go." It's so hard for me to let people go. It's hard for me to let people close to me out of my life. Whenever I get in these sentimental moods the one thing that always gives me comfort is the hope of heaven. Can you even imagine what it will be like someday? To have everyone that you have loved with you? Everyone that you ever shared a special bond with will be together in a perfect world. Just the thought of such a place gives me hope and makes me want to strive to be there. Just the thought of being with all the amazing people I have been blessed to know makes me want to be a better person so I can be with them forever.

Monday, June 1, 2009


For months George Wythe has been advertising the upcoming Gala. The parties that George Wythe throw are always a dream.... picture perfect Cinderella type balls. I love going to them but the cost is usually quite pricey... but when I saw that Glenn Beck was going to be the keynote speaker at the event I was almost tempted to pay the $500 a ticket to go. I was so excited to see two of my favorite freedom fighers G.W. and G.B. finally joining forces. But I just couldn't bring myself to pay $1000 to attend the event...
Until I got the best phone call from the director of the event 2 days before the Gala. She wanted to know if my dad would be willing to donate a piece of art the silent auction. I had to laugh when I listened to her message. My dad has no sympathy or favorable feelings towards GW... but I quickly decided if I could trade a picture for 2 tickets, we would be in buisness.

The event was wonderful. It was at the state capital. It was beautiful. The food was delicious! My favorite was the dessert... shocking. But I actually was a bit shocked. When I saw it I was so disappointed.... it was a pear with some sauces underneath it. But it was so delicious! It was stuffed with palmegrant goat cheese.

Glenn Beck donated $25,000 to GW which I think proved that he is convinced it is a great institution. His speech was a typical monolog very similar to his radio program.
My date was absolutely amazing... I could not have asked for better. The only drama of the evening came in the form of a ghost that haunts my past.