"I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself." -CS Lewis, The Great Divorce


Thing #64: Being Appreciated

I love teaching, but it gets exhausting wondering if what I am doing has any impact. Often, I think that it doesn't, and all these kids go about their lives in the exact same way they might even if I never entered it. Today, though, I realized that there may be some kids out there who actually have been impacted by what I did/do.

The SCA had a project that involved passing out paper turkeys to study blocks and asking students to address them to teachers who made a difference. They collected them and gave them out to us today. It was touching to read the comments students made, ranging from "You're cool" to "You're a really great teacher and I love English because of your class freshman year." Of course, they all came from students who I taught/am teaching during their freshman year, so I think that makes a difference.

Any way I look at it, I made some kind of difference to some kids. It's good to feel appreciated and useful, especially in a career that frequently seems to be unrewarded and looked down upon by many.


Thing #63: Trader's Joe's Christmas Blend Coffee

I'll be honest. Trader Joe's could probably populate an entire year's worth of "things to be happy about" posts. However, I will not sit down to provide such unsolicited positive publicity (to my four blog readers). Now, if it were solicited and paid for, I may consider blogging about a Trader Joe's item every day for a year.

But, alas, finding an alternative income is NOT the purpose of this post. Instead, I would like to mention on specific incredible product available during this holiday season. On Monday, I was in desperate need of a new container of coffee. My wanderings brought me to Trader Joe's (the aforementioned home of all things amazing). I spent a quick 3 minutes scoping out the coffee selection. I thought of going with the super affordable Trader Joe's blend, but then the holiday blend caught my eye. I am a lover of all things Christmas themed, and the flavors of holiday spices are no exception. It said that blended with the coffee were several seasonal spices. I didn't even care to read (though I did attempt to smell through the vacuum seal) what these spices were. I was hooked. I purchased my $6.50 goodie (along with many, many others) and headed home without further thought of my coffee. Until the next morning. From my kitchen wafted delightful holiday smells along with delicious smell of percolating coffee. Could it be? Could this smell belong to something that tasted as wonderful? Yes! It could be!

Needless to say, I have sucked down three cups of this delightfulness in the past three days. Each cup leaves me yearning for more. It's the perfect combination of holiday treat and morning caffeination. It surely makes 7:25 with students infinitely more barable.

There you have it, Trader Joe's. Testimonial #1. I have more where that came from, but I'm awaiting compensation. Sincerely, Katie.


Thing #62: Wedding Pictures

I remember a few beautiful spring and fall days at William and Mary when I happened upon a bride and groom having their pictures taken after their ceremony at the Wren building. It always seemed like I was catching a glimpse of something special and momentous. I couldn't help but smile. I feel like that often when I see the tell-tale white dress. It's as if I'm lucky enough to be a spectator in a big moment in those peoples' lives.

I say all of this because today on my run, I saw two wedding photo sessions on the boardwalk. The brides I saw today looked REALLY young, but REALLY happy. It was a little chilly, so they also looked a little bit cold and ready to go inside. Still, it was kind of happy thing for me, as I begin to think more and more about this big day in my life.

There's just something magical about it all - kind of like seeing the castle at Magic Kingdom for the first time - it's a little bit fairy tale and a little bit real. Plus, it's all kinds of special.


Thing #61: Christmas Lights

This time change is killin' me, Smalls. I can't seem to manage much more that puttering after the 5:30 hour o' darkness. I have organized some wedding stuff and managed to watch a lot of Bravo. I have not, however, managed to run, eat well, or be in any way active after the hour o' darkness. It's going to have to change soon, I know. Until it does, however, I have something quite exciting to light up my life: Christmas lights.

Yes, I know that it is merely November 9, but waiting until today shows a great deal of restraint by my Christmas-light-loving self. First, as I mentioned, it's very dark very early, and there is still a month and TWELVE days until the shortest day of the year. Lights make things brighter and far more tolerable. Second, these Christmas decorations are costly, and it seems that the most cost-efficient use of them would necessitate that they be up early. Third, I love lights. And sparkle. And lights. There are few things in this world that I find as enjoyable as a well-decorated and (likely overly) lighted Christmas tree.

Now, to be fair, I only put up my Christmas trees as a home for my lights (see title of post), so I am not completely ridiculous. I will save Christmas decorating for the much later date of Saturday. Too bad I'm not kidding, because this is potentially the most ridiculous post I have given.

But gosh, I do love those lights. I may go make some hot cider (also a thing I love neglected from my list) and stare at them. Oooh, lights. Sparkle.