Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Big Time Thankful

Hello and happy (almost) Thanksgiving. Brendan and I are teaching tomorrow morning, and then we will head to Austin to be with family for the holiday. I am looking forward to some MUCH needed rest and relaxation (and, of course, I'm also looking forward to the food!).

Before I leave, I wanted to reflect on some of the things I am thankful for this year. Here is my list of gratitudes, in no particular order:

I am thankful for my students. I ended up with some good groups this semester, and I have extended my efforts to really encourage them to come work one on one with me. They have taken me up on the offer this semester, and I have seen a lot more students in my tutoring and office hours. As a result, I've been able to really get to know them as the wonderful individuals they are, and their research papers are evidence of their hard work and personal growth. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to teach to, and to learn from, my students. I love getting to know a new group every semester and helping them grow as writers and thinkers. I often catch myself thinking "I can't believe this is my job." The classroom, for me, is a joyous place to be. I am thankful to be able to create a nurturing and positive environment for my students to learn in. We have computers in our classroom, a printer, and a Smartboard, and I am thankful for these resources that allow me to make learning hands-on, engaging, and fun for them.

I am thankful for all the things that keep me healthy: my weekly yoga classes, my free access to the college gym, my healthcare, and my dental care. I am grateful to have these resources and to be healthy. In the last few years, I have learned that my body is so much stronger than I give it credit for. I truly can do almost anything that I set my mind to.

I am thankful that we have a nice place to live and that we have transportation. These things are easy to take for granted, but our lives would be very hard without them. I'm also grateful for all the necessities: food, electricity, running water...so many people live without these things. I'm thankful for my ability to give back to my community and to communities outside my own. Lending a helping hand is always a worthwhile endeavor. As the Muppet Christmas Carol movie says "Live in peace and love."

I am thankful for our ability to travel, and, specifically, I am thankful we could take the trip to Europe this past summer. I learned so much about history and about myself on that amazing adventure. Visiting champagne caves, salt mines, museums, palaces, and castles, taking a hike through the Black Forest, driving through the Bavarian Alps...the whole trip was beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of. I am grateful to have those memories.

I am thankful for my family. Brendan is the best husband I could have ever asked for, and I love and cherish cozy nights with him, Lola, and Zoe by my side. Our relationship is supportive, loving, and equal, and I feel so glad to have him as a partner. I'm thankful for our parents and siblings. They are always there for us and make life exciting. I'm thankful for our grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. We are truly lucky to have so many caring individuals in our lives. We are grateful for friends: old and new, near and far, friends add meaning to our lives.

I am thankful to be alive. Each day is a gift, so you have to get up and live it.

What are you thankful for? We hope it's a lot!

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