Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hokie Nation

Last night in my Young Adult Literature class we were talking about Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson and the topic of the killings at Virginia Tech came up. I haven't said anything about that here, because I've been trying to sort out my own perspective on it. Initially, I was horrified and kept imagining it happening here, which caused me to burst into tears at odd times imagining my students and colleagues being attacked by someone who had come unhinged. I have a friend who teaches at Virginia Tech, and she talked about being locked down in her building (right across from Norris Hall) and watching as police and medical personnel swarmed the building.

I was especially touched by the groups of Virginia Tech students who focus on the campus as a family and support each other through their sorrow. What a sad and sobering commentary this event is on our world today. But along with the horror, there is much that is good about the human spirit being exhibited in Blacksburg.

And can I just take a moment to go on a tangent? Kudos to my Young Adult Literature class members this semester. They are a great group of students who participate in class with a serious but communal kind of demeanor. I tend to teach in ways that some students don't appreciate -- big focus on "how are we making sense of this together" -- and they always go with me. Last night I asked them to role play a character from one of the novels that we have read this semester and they all participated very well. I can't say enough about how much I appreciate these great students.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Spring Update

I know, I know. It's been a very long time since I've posted. I'm not going to make excuses, but here are a few things that have been going on:
*The Wyoming Cowgirls basketball team won the WNIT championship. NATIONAL championship. We went to every single game, and I was in tears at the end, because of the courage, heart, and determination of every member of that team. We have been season ticket holders for the last three years. Now we are fans for life.
* Chemistry 1020 is coming along well -- I made an 82 on the last test, which in this class is the equivalent of an A++. Lab is over, but I still have one chapter quiz, the lab final, and the course final to complete. I'm setting aside one hour every morning to study, and I feel pretty good about what I've learned in this course.
* Student teachers are in their last week of the student teaching semester. We made our last trip to Casper (!) for the semester, and much of the grading is completed. No serious meltdowns, no major crises, and most of my students are getting job interviews and job offers. Graduation is next weekend and I'm looking forward to dressing up in my fancy robes and celebrating with our graduates.
* The daffodils and snowdrop bulbs that I planted last fall are starting to come up and bloom, which is so beautiful and exciting. In spite of the fact that it is currently SNOWING, I feel certain that spring will arrive soon.

This summer I have so much to look forward to -- a week in the Cayman Islands scuba diving, finishing my last 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail, participation in the Wyoming Writing Project, and a reunion with my English education graduates (date still to be determined). It's going to be a good summer for traveling and I hope that it will be a good one for writing as well.

Thanks for continuing to tune in ....