May 31, 2011

A New Baby!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:00 pm by a care in the world

It’s been such a big week, and I have so much to say that I don’t know where to start! Actually, I do 🙂 The most important news is that I became an aunt!! My younger sister gave birth to a son on Sunday morning at 1am. It wasn’t the easiest birth, but the baby is perfect and my sister is doing better. The whole family went home today, and luckily all four grandparents live in town, so the new mom and dad will have lots of help. Congratulations to my sister and brother-in-law on your beautiful baby boy 🙂 I can’t wait to meet him!

photo from my sister

May 26, 2011

Summertime

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:46 am by a care in the world

I took our dog Maddie for her summer haircut today… thank goodness the warm weather finally made it to the city! Our furball just went from this:

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 To this:

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She’s still getting used to it, but I think she’ll be grateful once the heat really rolls in. And speaking of heat, we’re already running from it! My husband and I are heading up to Boston and Portland, ME this weekend to visit some friends. I’m really excited about seeing the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I’m working on an independent research project this summer that focuses on bringing art into the English classroom, so there will be a lot of museum visits in my future. But that’s a story for another post… see you next week!

May 22, 2011

Graduation Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 10:55 pm by a care in the world

Some days are so emotional and uplifting that you don’t even know where to begin to recount them. My husband graduated from seminary on Saturday, and his family and I spent a proud and exhausting day escorting him from event to event, receiving words of praise and gratitude for him from so many of his friends, professors and co-workers. The Commencement Communion Service in the morning was filled with the interconnectedness that we have come to appreciate so much from this community. Students prepared the entire service, offering gifts of word, song, and communion. Fittingly, the MDivs anointed each other to go forth and do good work, sharing intimate words of encouragement and blessing with one another. It was an incredibly moving experience.

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The Commencement Ceremony later that afternoon began with great noise and jubilation, as bongo drums led the procession of graduates and faculty into the chapel. It was such a small group that I knew most of the graduates, and was proud to witness several of them win awards for their hard work and dedication to sharing the gospel and working for social justice. I was caught off guard but not terribly surprised when my husband’s name was called. In my own words, the award he won was “most capable of translating his seminary work into good for the community through parish ministry.” I’m sure the official phrasing was much more impressive than that, but after some of the struggles we had this spring, I am so proud and so grateful for this particular affirmation. My husband had hoped to be heading into a PhD program at this point, but it wasn’t meant to be, so he followed his calling into ministry, postponing his PhD ambitions for another time. Though it’s been quite a challenge to have to delay that dream, we could not have received better confirmation that he’s on the right track for now. I’m so thrilled and so proud of him.

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As we leave this place behind, we leave a library filled with wisdom and theological challenges, a building draped in history and beauty, and a community of the most fiercely loving people I have ever known. This community believes in love and acceptance above all else, and they fight for social justice, equality and open-mindedness in a way that will always inspire me. It has been an honor to be part of this community, and I know it will feed and support us wherever we go. To all the graduates– may you go forth to bring love, truth and light to all people you encounter. Make us uncomfortable when we need to be uncomfortable, hold us when we need to be held, and challenge us to look beyond our own little worlds so we can create God’s kingdom on earth. And all God’s people said: “Amen!”

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May 18, 2011

A Vacation and a Job Offer

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 1:01 pm by a care in the world

It’s amazing what you’ll do when you’re job hunting… I just spent several days with my family at the beach for my cousin’s wedding, and had a last minute opportunity to visit a school. I drove four hours from the beach and back to spend the day at this school, and got offered the maternity leave position they were looking to fill. I believe I mentioned this job in my last post– well, I got it! I’ll be teaching World History, Economics, and managing the Yearbook for a couple of months this fall. I’m all over World History, but Economics is definitely going to stretch me. This is the text they’re using: 

Photo from here.

Any other suggestions? Has anyone read this book? The class also uses Freakonomics, and I’ve read that before.

I’m a little disappointed that it’s not a full-time position, but it’s my only option at this point. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled, but I’m also throwing myself headfirst into reading and preparing for these classes. Maybe it will lead to something greater! For now, I’ll begin selecting audiobooks for my hour-long commute 🙂

May 12, 2011

A New Challenge

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 1:01 am by a care in the world

Now that I’ve spent over six years getting my Bachelors and Masters degrees in English, you’d think I’d be all set to teach English, right?

I mean, that’s what my resume says I’m qualified for… and yet, I may have an opportunity to do something very different next year. For some reason, there’s a school that is interested in me for a 9th grade position to teach Government, Economics, and World Religion.  My first thought is, are you crazy?! It says English on my label! I never took Govt. or Econ. and never really missed it either. However, English jobs are not raining from the sky at the moment, so how can I turn down a school that is interested in me?

And then I remembered my first teaching job, right after I graduated college (in ENGLISH). I got hired four days before my start date and was asked to teach a Social Studies class on Africa and the Middle East– with no textbook and no pre-planned curriculum. I was stunned and terrified and completely engaged, and it was the most challenging and fascinating job I’ve ever had. I think I called my mom almost every day after school to tell her what I had taught and what my students had to say about it.

Suffice it to say that together my students and I learned so much that year, and I loved (almost) every minute of it. So can I translate that hunger for knowledge into an interest in government and economics? I’m definitely interested in world religions, but politics and money? The fact is, it’s a foot in the door at a great school. Should I trust my own potential and go for it, or hold out for an English opportunity?

May 10, 2011

Big News

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:34 pm by a care in the world

Big news tonight: Amendment 10A passed! The Presbyterian Church USA will now ordain openly gay men and women to the ministry. This is a great step forward for the church and for humanity. I’m so proud that so many people decided to stand up for love instead of hate. Amen!

Living, working and moving on…

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:50 pm by a care in the world

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he’s always doing both.”
-Lawrence Pearsall Jacks
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness; and many of our people sorely need it on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
-Mark Twain

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A little bit about me…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:26 pm by a care in the world

I thought I’d say a little bit about myself and why I decided to start this blog. I’m currently finishing up my Master’s in Teaching English in NYC and searching for teaching jobs in North Carolina. I’m excited to be going back there because it feels a little like home. My husband and I both went to college in NC and his family is there, so it will be good to be on familiar stomping grounds. So we’ll be going from this:

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To this:

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Talk about culture shock! My grad school friends are mostly looking for teaching jobs in the city, so they can’t imagine what my life will be like. Many of them suggested I start a blog to record this adventure, so I hope to be using this space to share teaching stories and resources, my photography, and life as a small town preacher’s wife. I hope y’all will feel free to make this a dialogue rather than a monologue!

May 9, 2011

Parsonage Life

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:51 pm by a care in the world

Once you reach the age of 27 or 28, where I come from, you expect to be headed towards stability. Maybe you’re married, maybe you’ve been in a job field for a few years, maybe you’ve paid off some student debt… or maybe you’ve got a little sister who was settled into her own house with her husband at age 22 🙂

One thing that living in NYC has taught me is that everyone does things in their own time, so you’re never later or earlier than you should be at any particular life stage. Most days I appreciate that, and some days I get anxious. When I was younger, I used to joke that I would never marry a military man, because I never wanted to be told where I should move or what my life should look like. Then, I went and married a man who would become a Methodist minister.

Since then I’ve learned a lot about the Methodist church (and I still have a lot to learn). I think the basic idea is that every few years, the Methodist conference that we’re part of will send us to a different church in a different town or city. We are part of the Western North Carolina conference, so at least we won’t have far to go each move, but it will be kind of a nomadic lifestyle. Many churches provide parsonages for their ministers, so we have a place to live. We found out tonight that our new parsonage is fully furnished. As you can imagine, by age 28, my husband and I have, separately and together, collected various pieces of furniture for our apartment(s). Where does all that furniture go? What about for our next move, and the next? Do we sell our furniture? What if we get an appointment that doesn’t have a parsonage? Are we back at square one?

Most importantly, how do I make peace with all of the things that are out of my control in this life?

“If I have a care in the world, I have a gift to bring”

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 11:58 am by a care in the world

Well, this is officially my entrance into the blogging world… let’s see how it goes! Right now I’m choosing not to post my real name here, so I’ll just explain my username. This comes from one of my favorite Indigo Girls’ songs, the lyrics of which go like this: “My life is part of a global life. I find myself becoming more immobile when I think a little girl in the world can do anything. My destination- my community, street person- my responsibility… If I have a care in the world, I have a gift to bring”
-Indigo Girls

I’m here to chronicle my new life as a teacher, photographer, and preacher’s wife. This summer I’ll be moving from New York City to a small town in North Carolina, and I hope this blog will help me process the journey and enjoy the ride. For now, I’ll leave you with one more quote from another favorite artist: “And I don’t know how it gets better than this, you take my hand and drag me head first, fearless. And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress, fearless.”
-Taylor Swift