It seems only fitting that I should write about back to school preparations; I mean, after all, it is August, and the days of summer freedom are quickly vanishing, much to the protest of students… and possibly even some teachers. There’s just something about summer—late evening strolls, dancing bonfires, smoky barbecues, chilly swims—that is hard to relinquish for desks, textbooks, and homework. But, every August, the calendar begins its march toward that red letter day, the first day of school.
For some students, the first day of school is dreaded; for other students, the day is merely another day, just one step further in the education journey, and, for a few, the day is exciting and can’t arrive soon enough. I guess I’ll confess that I tended to belong to the latter group; I truly did love school!! Oh, there were days when I wanted to heave the homework out of the window, and there were other days when skipping classes to go shopping sounded better than balancing chemical equations. But, for the most part, I didn’t find school to be dreadful. However, it wasn’t until recently that I fully discovered and understood my attraction toward school and learning.
When I was in kindergarten, I was a patient in the hospital more than a student in the classroom. It was pneumonia, then lung congestion, then sinus infection, then flu—the laundry list of infections went on and on. Being a kindergarten student, the hospital was the last place I wanted to be; I needed to be learning my letters and mathematics, not watching the IV drip the latest antibiotic. If I remember correctly, I spent more time watching the IV drip than learning my ABCs during my kindergarten year. But yet I knew I needed that IV in order to receive my reward—returning to school.
Ever since my kindergarten year, I always saw going to school/classes as a privilege—because, if I was going to school, it meant God had given me strength and health for that day. Don’t get me wrong, I was no perfect student; I had my fair share of fun, but I held a genuine respect for learning. I still do. In fact, I have so much respect for learning that I will be returning to the world of academia at the end of this month. I’m going back to school, not as a student though but as an adjunct instructor.
Beginning August 24th, I will be teaching English Composition on-line for Dordt College. This opportunity has exceeded all my expectations; I feel very honored… and a little overwhelmed, but not defeated. I’m confident that I’ll learn along with the students, if not more than my students! Because of this new venture, my contributions to the newspaper will be slightly less; I’m still planning to write, but more on a part-time basis for awhile… or at least until God reveals the next chapter of my life.
But, until then, I’ll be joining the ranks of those going back to school… and drawing strength from God who promises: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)