Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I don't know why it is so much a part of who I am that whenever life gets murky, I must assume a) that it's my fault, and therefore b) I have to/can fix it. Anyone who's lived for a while will tell you that these things are not a given, but do I ever listen to them? Apparently not.

The last two days have been dark and bitter, and not for any outside reason. I guess you could say God and I had a temporary difference of opinion about certain things. I don't know what that's like for Him, but it leaves me feeling like there's no air in the room. It just goes to show that even for the ridiculously blessed, life is NOT EASY. Being a grown-up is just darn hard.

I have, however, made a few discoveries as I begin to breathe again. The first is that you have to ask for help (and then you have to take it and work with it when it comes). And no, you don't get to pick how your life's going to go. I will probably be learning that lesson over and over again. Fortunately, Love is patient. I think a changed heart is God's biggest miracle. The second thing I learned is that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be today. No clue about tomorrow, but for today at least I have a purpose and I can do some real good. Souls out there need me, and a broken me will do just fine.
Thank God for that!
For reals. Thank you, God.

Love, Sarah

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Come and Play with Me..."

I love teaching kindergarteners! (Okay, I love them all. But today I am particularly glad to be teaching kindergarteners.) I think its a combination of the disarming cuteness that ensures the survival of the young, the fact that all my songs and stories and jokes are new to them, and the confidence that comes from knowing that you really can't go wrong with an audience for whom "What animal sounds did you hear?", "My cat had babies yesterday!", and "I have to go to the bathroom," equals a conversation. Anyway, I try not to teach them all my favorite songs in the first month of school, which is why we didn't learn the Calliope Song until today. The Calliope Song is awesome because it is simple (without becoming annoying--to me, anyway), and because the accompanying track features a variety of animal noises that sound off at seemingly random intervals during the song. It is so much fun to watch the little five-year-old faces as they react to the animal noises. First, there's surprise and a bit of disbelief, and then there's delight when it happens again. By the third time a giggle or two will leak out, hilarity increasing with each new sound, until there are more of us laughing than singing. Oh, I tell you it is good for the soul!

I can't believe I get paid to do this.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Well, it's Friday now and the kids have all gone home (as have most of the teachers), so I can finally settle down in some as yet uncluttered corner of my classroom and tell the untold millions who live by my blog (you) what it's like to be Sarah Dunn on a Friday afternoon.

It isn't pretty.

Periodically, I have nightmares where nobody can hear me. Usually I'm trying to teach my students something, and we never get past the come-in-and-sit-down part because no one is listening to me. I yell, and cajole, and threaten, and do all the things a good teacher would never do, but all to no avail. Terrible things happen, and I suffer the dual agonies of being both responsible for the safety and education of my students and powerless to effect either. Although it probably wasn't as bad as all that, today left me feeling like I do during those nightmares. 'The worst part?' you ask. I'll tell you. The worst part is that all the frustrated passion that would be poured into my making music with kids piles up inside me, creating a paralyzing well of anger and confusion, so that to prevent myself from destroying the next student who breathes wrong, I stop disciplining. Period. And then I'm haunted by the haggard looks of the students who actually do care about the class, and must suffer through excruciating chaos because their ridiculous teacher has lost the ability to communicate rationally. I'm so sorry, my bandlings! You deserve better.

On a much brighter note, I realized yesterday morning that I'm going to heaven. And then I realized that heaven is probably better than being married and having kids! So even if I kick the bucket before Mr. Intheblank (I call him Phil) happens to discover the missing half of his soul (me), it only means I get to see God (!!!) that much sooner. So what the heck have I been moping about? This isn't a points system. The deal was sealed when I chose this road. I'm in. He wants me, the uptight little bird who secretly hopes that playing it safe and looking righteous will pay off in the end. Huh. Fancy that. And not only that, but God thinks it's worth it to use me. Wrap your head around that one, Kyle! (That's what I call myself.)* So I guess I can trust Him that my middle-schoolers and I will find our way out of this mess without killing each other.

Well now, I think that calls for no little celebration.
How about sushi and a movie?
You're a genius, Kyle!

*For those of you who are familiar with the tv show Boy Meets World, there's this part where the older brother Eric is explaining something to his parents, and he goes "...So I said to myself: Kyle..."
parents look confused,
"...That's what I call myself."
audience laughs
Get it?