Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yesterdays and Tomorrows

It's been a month since I last blogged...too long if you ask me. But life has been busy and every time I think I should write, I'm hit with writer's block. I just don't seem to know what to write. I don't want to write about trite and mundane things like what I did all last week but last week some time, I read an article in the paper that nearly made me vomit. So...I thought to myself, "Self, you should write about that."

Now I write this knowing that if my husband reads it, he will want me to quit my job like...yesterday. But we have 51 more days left and I can make it until then.

I read a story a few days ago in The Ledger. It was about a woman at the local Hyatt Hotel near the Lakeland Center that was severely beaten, choked, and sexually assaulted. The story itself shook me. I just don't understand people these days. But then they caught the suspect and THAT is what really got me. I was glad that they arrested the guy but then I read the article and when I saw the name of the suspect, I nearly passed out. The FOURTEEN, yes, I said it, 14 year old, BOY was in my class last year!!!! Now, this is not the first time that a student of mine has been arrested for serious charges. My first year I taught a kid who stabbed a man forty something times and was arrested for attempted murder.

Now, a former student of mine beats and sexually assaults a woman. These are the kinds of students I teach. These are the kinds of students I try to make a difference in. These are the kinds of students that make me somewhat nervous to come to work each day.

My hubby and I have been watching a show on Netflix that I watched 2 seasons of when it was on the air but didn't watch the last 2 seasons. It's called Lincoln Heights and deals with a cop's family moving back to the 'hood and steeping themselves in the resident gang life trying to make a difference. I watch that show now with brand new eyes because I had no idea of this world that existed in Lakeland until I started teaching at the Hill. It's so easy to just get caught up in your own little bubble of a world and forget the violence, pain, grief, and suffering of those only a few miles up the road. It takes a toll on me...it really does. But all I can really do is pray for these kids - pray that someone (if not me) will plant a seed in their lives that will grow into something significant so that they can grow into functional and respectable citizens of this society that we live in.

But, with this, I also breathe a sigh of relief. It's a bittersweet sigh, I admit. I love the people I work with and there are days when I am reminded why I do what I do and have worked where I work for the last 3 years. But, this stage is coming to a close. I have so graciously been offered another job next year and I am running to it, if I may be honest and transparent. I will be teaching 5th grade reading at Shiloh Charter School in Plant City next year. Yes, a CHARTER school. This absolutely thrills me. But, there is that part of me that almost feels as if I am betraying the people I've worked with for the last few years. Is that a strange way to feel? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

But I know this is what God wants for me...because it literally fell into my lap. That's how I know this is right. I'm certainly going to miss the quirky sarcasm of some of my favorite co-workers but I also know that we'll stay in touch through facebook. I really am excited about this new chapter in my life and look forward to all that God has in store for me.

So as I reflect back, I know that I will always remember the yesterdays that got me to this point but I will press on toward the tomorrows that will lead me to where God wants me to be.