Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Growin' up in LA (Lascassas for those of you who don't know)

     I have been thinking about what to write about for a new blog for the past couple of days. I started thinking about what it meant for me to grow up in a small town, in the family that I was raised in. I thought for today I would just share my experiences growing up in LA.

     I grew up and lived in Lascassas, TN until just recently. Starting when I was 17 I started living part time in Murfreesboro, and now own a home in the Boro, but plan on moving back to LA one day. Growing up in a small, rural town, within bike riding distance to your aunt's and your best friend's house (Kylie and I did this one day without telling Mom and Dad....not a good idea...) in Tennessee shaped my life. My most fond memories are from the summers when I was a child, living in the South during the Summer, though at times its so hot you may see lava erupt, is one of the greatest blessings I feel. My summers consisted of being outside in the yard, swimming at Nissan or in a plastic pool at home, stringing green beans, planting something and everything, hanging clothes out to dry on a line, riding bikes, going to VBS... We didn't have cell phones, we didn't have computers, and my  mother and a lot of mothers didn't work outside of the home except for maybe an occasional cleaning job or a "seeding and strawing" job at a lot for my grandpa. I remember my childhood being slow, nothing was rushed, nothing was strenuous, I was able to take in everything of the world around me. I'm only 21, for me to remember a time when people weren't glued to their cell phones, didn't have computers to play on facebook every day with, and many women didn't even have a job is so mind blowing to me! Many children as young as 10 years old have cell phones now! We use computers every day for everything, most of our cell phones even have internet access, and for a woman to not have a job today is almost unheard of. Sometimes I wish we could go back and live in a world that wasn't so rushed and hurried.

    A bit about my family. I was blessed with a HUGE extended family on my mother's side. Mom has 6 siblings and those siblings each have 2-6 kids, and most of those kids have a few kids...I think I have close to 50 cousins just on Mom's side! And luckily most of them lived close by. I lived right down the road from my aunt Cathy, uncle Nelson and two cousins Josh and Tami. I think I was at their house as much, if not more, than I was at my own house growing up! During the summer especially, the mamas and us kids were always together! I miss those days so much now. Now that I'm old enough to appreciate the childhood I had.

      Today, take a moment to reflect on the people that you grew up with, say a prayer for them to be blessed today as they once blessed your life.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


      I usually describe myself and my values as traditionalist. I go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, I wear hats and like to dress in vintage. I like making things with my hands and fixing dinner at home instead of eating out. I want to be a teacher, and at some point in time a stay at home mom.  I don't like change in most areas of my life, and I like things to be how I like them to be. Some people may consider me... well, a control freak!

     I'm sick, and I have the T.V. turned on to the Superbowl, not really watching it just waiting for the good commercials and performances to start, I was watching the pre-game show and saw the touching video made of people across the country reading the Declaration of Independence. While watching the video and thinking about the signing of that document and the words it contains, I started thinking about the beginning of our wonderful nation. If I would have been living in England during the late 1700s, would I have gotten on a boat to travel a treacherous journey in the hope of a better life in a different land? On a boat in which a staggering amount of travelers died on the voyage. I'm not sure if I would have had the courage to do that. I may have been content with staying in England, suffering whatever kind of persecution, in order to escape the uncertanties of the New World. That got me thinking back to when Christ walked this Earth. If I would have lived back then, would I have followed this strange man, whom claimed to be the Messiah? Would I have accepted his teachings back then? Would I have been one in the crowds cursing, and abusing this man with liberal values, for the time? What if I would have been appaled by this man's teachings, and what if I screamed to send him to his death? Furthermore, I vote in elections and I'm a woman! Once upon a time, not so long ago, women had to fight for this right! Many of these women who fought for this right were looked down upon, and were thought to be ruining the structure of the traditional home. Oposers to women's voting rights thought that women would neglect their duties at home if they were given the right to vote. Would I have been picketing for voting rights prior to 1920? Or would I have been fine with not voicing my opinion or even opose women's voting rights myself? So am I really a traditionalist? I live in and love a country started by rebels, I serve a Savior who changed the face of religion forever by coming to this world, and I vote as a woman which wasn't possible until 1920! I'm so proud to be an American (I'm getting chills and tears in my eyes listening to Christina sing the Star Spangled Banner right now!), I'm proud to be a woman, and I'm even prouder to be a child of the Risen Savior!

Hope I got you thinking about your own values and walks of life today!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"If you can't do, teach"

As an Education Major at MTSU, education is obviously very important to me. Even as a child, I always begged to learn more and more. As an adult, I now know the power of a good education. I am not like most college students (especially those in the education field) I do not believe that everyone should go to college, and I definitely believe that college is not for everyone! I do believe, however, that everyone should get an education, even technical training, after high school.

In high school, I was once told "if you can't do, teach." What an ignorant statement. Teaching is not for the faint of heart. I am at times criticized for my decision to be a teacher, either by people who believe that my job will be easy, or that I am just doing it for the time off (which is a perk I'm not going to lie!), but we subject ourselves to putting up with snot-nosed, kids and those kids' parents. As everyone knows, the salary definitely isn't why we subject ourselves to educting the children. Education is a tough field! If you don't believe me, pick up a newspaper or ask a teacher what they have to go through everyday. Along with the diversity of children in classrooms who come from less than pleasant homes, the ways of teaching are changing, more emphasis is put on standardized test scores, and stricter guidelines are placed on teachers. I feel that I am called to teach, as cliche and mudane as it may sound, if I can make a difference in one child's life my time and struggles in the education field will have been worth it. As educators we will never know how far our influence will travel, whether good, or unfortunately bad. If you can read this note, thank a teacher.

For all my fellow educators and education majors I put together a list--

You know You're an Education Major (at MTSU) when....
 --You know how to write a lesson plan 3792758 ways, probably with your eyes closed --You get excited when you hear about new ways of teaching --You get to bounce ideas off your peers about your future classroom -- Everyone in your class is engaged, married, and or has children --You have in class debates about the AR program --You have in class debates about pretty much everything --Everyone in your class, being future teachers, wants to explain the professor's instructions to the rest of the class --You are encouraged to make your projects "cute" --The mention of No Child Left Behind creates mass chaos --Along with the mention of TCAP tests --Everyone knows if you have observation hours in the spring, you had better get them done before March because of TCAPs --You save what other people consider trash because you see it as a craft or science project item --You have observation hours for every class, and no idea how to fit them all in --You have a max of 3 boys in your classes --Cardigans are a staple in your wardrobe --You bring your lunch to school --You plan roadtrips with your fellow classmates to go to Goodwill stores in "rich towns" to get nice teacher clothes --You own at least one article of clothing or jewelry with an apple on it --You high-light....a lot! --You actually love learning and try to learn as much as you can --You can spot an education major just by the way they look --Grades below A's are unacceptable --You are kind of a dork, you may or may not be able to admit it --You have been fingerprinted, drugtested, and TB tested so many times you lost count --You can state your philospohy of education in case anyone ever asks --You want to hit anyone who comments on how easy your job will be when you get out of college --Whenever a fellow education major is dressed up, their classmates ask if they have practicum that day --You have had classes with 99% of everyone in your classes before--You love getting new school supplies --Whenever area schools get out for snow, you get excited knowing one day you will get snow days --You have so many canvas tote bags you can't count them all, but you still feel you need more --You get to go on neat field trips, like to the Chatanooga Aquarium --You love the children's literature section at the book store --Whenever a family member goes to a yard sale they buy you the sale's entire stock of children's books for your classroom library --Hearing a child laugh may be one of your most favorite sounds --You are an expert at peer teaching and at acting like an elementary student for your fellow peer teachers to teach to --Many of your professors are terrible teachers themselves --When you ask your reading professor how to teach silent letters to children, the response you get is that one day when you get your class, your teacher's manual will tell you how to address the issue --You know that being a teacher is a lifestyle, not simply a career --