Monday, January 18, 2010


My schedule has been busier than usual. For the past few weeks I have taken a couple of classes off of the hands of this man.

You are probably wondering how this guy got into teaching in the first place, but that is another story.

Here is a picture of him with his family. (They're our neighbors and I happened to be out taking some pictures when I saw them and snapped this one.)

Corey, the man in the above pictures, was trying to convince the children who were with him to sled down a pretty steep hill. The kids were not entirely sure that this was a good idea. So, Corey - the consummate teacher, decided to demonstrate the safety of sledding.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the moments following the sledding safety lesson. If I did, they would involve a hospital ride and several fractured vertebrae.

He is okay now - pretty much anyway. He is back in the classroom and I am back to my normal class load which allows me time to - you guessed it -


I forgot how much I love my schedule. With my first class beginning at 10, I am able to have some time to schlepp around in my slippers in the morning.

I have really missed schlepping.

I picked up 2 of his classes, covering his 6th grade math class and his 11th and 12th grade Civics class.

Yeah - I know, civics?

I'm not that smart.

But then, look who I was covering for:

On my first day of teaching Corey's civics class a student put her head down on her desk in something similar to despair.
It didn't help that the student was my own daughter.
I knew I had to quickly regroup or this would be a painful two weeks for all of us.

So....I begged and pleaded with this man

for something else to do with this group.
I waited to speak to him about changing the schedule until I was certain he was heavily medicated.

In all fairness I really should throw in a normal picture of our beloved Mr. McEachran. He really is a wonderful teacher and my kids are lucky to have him. Here he is when he's not dressed up as a beggar for some sort of school function.

(This is Corey with his sweet family when we celebrated Advent at our house this past November. Very normal and delightful family.)

Now - on with the story.

I was able to teach 2 weeks of literature during Civics in which we explored society and politics. The books we read were:

Killer Angel: the biography of Margaret Sanger


Fahrenheit 451

Both were excellent books, entirely different from one another.

On my final day with the Juniors and Seniors we dissected Fahrenheit 451 over coffee at Cafe Mela. (It's a small class of 8 students and that is how I roll, occasionally.)

As we explored themes, symbolism, biblical allusions, etc... I asked them what they thought of the book. One of the girls said she really didn't like it. She felt it was a "downer." I explained that a world without books would, in fact, be a "downer." I asked my small group of students if perhaps we were asking the wrong question. Rather than asking, "did I like this book?" maybe the real question should be, "was I changed after reading the book?"

That, to me, is the mark of a good book.

I have had opportunity to think about that comment all weekend and into this week.

"Am I changed after reading this?"

God offered me a gentle reminder this weekend in the echoes of my own words.

"Do you leave changed, beloved?"

This question has pricked my soul the past few days. How is it possible to enter into the presence of the Holy One and remain unchanged?

It isn't.

And yet time and again I do.

Still, His voice calls to me~
Come and be changed.

How often do I meet with Him and read words of life into my barren and thirsty soul, and yet leave His presence virtually unchanged?

And still He whispers words of love to me. He does not storm out of the room, as a wounded lover might, or even ought. He bears with me and bares my soul in the process.

It is in this gentleness I am changed.

Because it is so unlike me.

And so my soul cries out, do not let me leave again unchanged.

May this year, this day, this moment find us changed and fitted into the image and glad service of the One who gave all as He bids us,

~Come and be changed.