Saturday, June 7, 2008

learning on the road.

Learning Dallas

I’ve begun my cross-country trek (well, cross-central time zone) during my break from school. It’s so strange this year round school—I’m never completely separate from my students. This is one of the chief complaints from teachers at year round schools. Nevertheless, I think it increases the bonds that I have with my students. For better or worse we are connected for the entirety of a year. I feel like I’ve been able to get to know them a more than if I were at a nine-month school, especially now as we enter the exciting world of 11 year-old hormones.

I just finished writing postcards to them all. By the way, 22 consecutive postcards provide a fierce hand cramp.

It is my goal to learn something about myself and about God at each of my destinations during my journeys. I loved my time with the Fay family—Sam is more precious than words. I do think I would like to model my own children after him.

Living with missionaries (more specifically Bible translators/linguists), for a few days was insightful. I was stuck by the sense of community that exists at Cara and Kory’s apartment complex. The physical closeness of the apartments created college dorm closeness especially in contrast to Las Vegas anonymity. It begs the question—is it the buildings or the people? I have found that it has taken a lot longer to create a closeness and sense of community in Las Vegas than I anticipated. I really appreciated Dallas (thanks Kory and Cara! and Sam!) for reminding me of what it means to open to others and enjoy living in a community.

Learning Valpo

It’s not often in life that you are able to go back in time. Without a flux capacitor I think it’s impossible. However, my time in Valpo allowed me to go back to a time, a time of scholarly and spiritual pursuits. I really can’t summarize the sense of belonging and peace that I felt while in Valpo. Who knew that I’d ever want to be back in northwest Indiana?

Best week ever!

Learning Minnesota

I have yet to figure out if it is due to my age or my length of time away or some hybrid thereof, but each visit home becomes increasingly challenging. Not in the relationship with my family (although it continually evolves, mostly for the better), but rather in my perception of what home means and how I fit in. I've concluded, at long length, that I have multiple homes. I use a variety of descriptors for them as well. There's the place where my clothes live (Las Vegas), the place where my parents live (Bloomington), the place where I know how to get anywhere (Minnesota), and the place where I truly feel free (nature). I am home in so many places that I've started to wonder if I will ever settle anywhere.

This leaves my heart feeling torn--living in the dichotomy never having one place that I belong to while feeling pulled to a place I have never been. But as Christians, I guess that's what we've been called to. There's a passage in 1 Peter that reminds me that we are sojourners in this life, we belong in the presence of God, but there is too much to do still.

I have many stories from the classroom to tell, but they will have to wait until later.


1 comment:

caroline said...

lovely. you should "blog" more often. :)