Thursday, March 06, 2008

THE END OF THE QUARTER: "Linda, You Are An Animal !!!"

I love the African American spiritual that we sing at my church. The chorus says:

I am pressing my way
I won't turn around
I won't look back
I won't be afraid
I will move ahead
I'll rely on God
I am pressing my way!

When we sing that song the congregation jumps with energy and expectation! We dance in our seats. When we say the line "I am pressing my way!" we move our arms like we are moving an obstacle! This song is so symbolic of meeting and overcoming daily obsstacles for everyone there. It is a blessing for me to recall this song this morning! It is an anthem for the end of the quarter!

Unless you go through the end of a college just can't understand the magnitude of it! It is like the training schedule before a big race. There is no letup! There are what feel like endless papers to grade and deadlines to meet. It is the last push with 93 students.

Unless you go through the end of the quarter with this nasty flu can't get how great it is to be able to call out for God's help and say, "Ok, Lord. I have to give this to you! I have to ask for YOUR strength to get this done, because believe me I don't have it!"

At SCC when we are ill, there are no substitute teachers. If we miss class, so do our students. This has been a very strange quarter with missed snow days and one illness after another. Students and faculty are struggling to get to the end of this in one piece.

I came down with this bug awhile back. What started as a cold became a bronchial illness etc (I'll spare you the details). If you know anyone who has this "thing" and you look at them, that is how I have felt. I rested and graded over the weekend. I even went to the doctor, got help, and made sure I wasn't contagious. Yet I have not missed one day of school! I am there, with God's help and antibiotics, motivating my students and giving them high fives as they leave the classroom!

I am telling them:

"We are pressing our way
We won't look back
We will move on
We will get this done
We are pressing our way!"

I am playing music, Tina Turner and Sheryl Crow, to get us going! We are eating healthy snacks and hydrating our brains! They are producing exceptional college-level work at every turn! I am reminding them that I am so, so proud of them, that they are a miracle, and that it is an honor for me to be their teacher!

Lots of tears have flowed recently in my classes...including mine!
I have done this for 41 years and I love this job every day, even when I am sick!

At the end of one class yesterday one of my student athletes raised his hand. Now mind you this basketball player is a bit of an introvert and usually doesn't say much. On top of that, SCC just lost a major basketball championship in the last second by one point and he was heartbroken. It was his first day back in class and we clapped when Eric came in. He looked miserable, but he was smiling again , after countless hugs from me and others, as we got close to the end of class.

At the end of the hour I always ask.."Any last questions that if you don't ask them you won't be able to sleep tonight?" I then finish by saying "How many of you learned something new in here today that you can use in your life?" When all the hand shoot up...we applaud.

Crazy you say? Is she running a pep rally you might ask? Nope...just how I teach...even when I am sick!

When I asked if there were any questions yesterday, Eric's hand came up and everyone looked at him. He said "You know Linda"...and he started to smile..."You are an animal!" And he got up and gave me a high five!

Did I say that I love this job!

Ok, I want you to know that this is a high compliment. It means, in basketball talk, that I have guts! It means that I am courageous! It means that when I expect students to show up, I don't just talk that talk...I walk that walk! It means that it is all worth it! It means that he and the rest of my students know how much they mean to me!

Did I say that I love this job!

I walked around all day with a smile! Yup, I AM an animal!!

God Bless!
Love and hugs to all who read this! Linda


LORIE said...

You are an animal!!! I believe if you do what you love. . . . the paycheck will come. Thank you for this inspiring post. You continue to amaze me.

Jason Dittle said...
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jessithompson said...

I love you, Mom. You are constantly an inspiration to me. And I couldn't agree more - you are an animal! ;)

Kayla Jode said...

Your studenets must really love you! I know that I do! I hope that you've had a great week so far! I love you all and will be praying for you!

Tiffany said...


Every time I read one of your posts about teaching, all I can think about is how incredibly lucky your students are to have you. It is very clear that you always give them your all, even when you don't have much to give. You are such a special blessing to each and every one of your students. You are one of those teachers they will never forget! You ARE an animal!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Auntie Punk,

Why couldn't I have been in your class?! Reading this posting, I thought of my mom and how wonderful it is to have cheerleaders on our side. You are both amazing cheerleaders and teachers. Thanks for the encouragement!

Love you!

johnelaw said...

I think once you have had Linda for an instructor you kind of owe the world a favor for having this bright light shine on you.

Kim said...

Linda- I wish all teachers in our profession had just half of your dedication and passion. When your students are grateful for you and your efforts it is the biggest compliment! Thanks you animal, for the post!

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