Dreams of Disneyland

 I spent my lunch with another teacher

and all our students who had earned “Community Lunchbox,”

a reward students can earn for doing their homework all week.

Just as I was about to finish eating,

a group of girls came to my table area and began asking,

“Miss Friedrich, can we come to your wedding?

Can we come over to your house and hang out with you after school?”

(There are two girls from this group that ask me this on a daily basis.

I don’t think they get that teachers and students don’t hang out

and have play dates like they do with their friends.)

Of course I said no to both, but with a smile.

Our banter about them coming over has become a daily joke.

Soon, they began asking questions about my ‘future husband’

and the pictures I had up in the room of he and I.

When I pointed out a picture of us at Disneyland,

they immediately began asking,

“If we can’t come over, will you take us to Disneyland?!”

My quick wits gave me a great idea.

“Sure!” I proclaimed.

Their eyes lit up and smiles spread across their faces,

“Really?!?!?” they asked.

“Yes.  I will go to Disneyland with you when you graduate college.”

My thought was that the likelihood they’ll actually contact me

after their college graduation could be slim,

and it sounded like a fun promise if it ever actually came true.

We laughed and joked about how they’ll need to Google me

to look up my contact information when the time finally comes.

“It’s a deal!” one said.  “But we need to shake on it.”

I complied, shaking on the deal.

As they excitedly ran out of the room to recess,

bragging to anyone who walked by,

“We’re gunna go to Disneyland with Ms. Friedrich!”

My team teacher and I looked at each other and laughed.

She warned me that in about 13 years

these girls actually could be calling me.

And you know what?  I’m okay with that.

If the memory of this pact does anything to motivate them in school

I’m completely okay with that.

I’ll let you know in about 13 years or so if we make it to Disneyland.

And to tell you the truth,

I’d be delighted if this dream really does come true.

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Evens and Odds

 2012 was a good year for me.

Even numbered things are usually good for me.

Years.  Birthdays. The list goes on.

Even numbers are just lucky for me.

My birthday is on the 2nd.  Even.

My birthday month is the 10th month of the year. Even.

My soccer jersey number was always 20.  Even.

My apartment number is 2.  Even.

And years that end in even numbers are always good ones!

Take 2012 for example.

My two greatest highlights from this year had to do with even numbers.

Ran my best half marathon time in 2 hours and 2 minutes.

Got engaged on the 20th of December. 

And one important thing that came with this even year of 2012,

I started teaching the best class I’ve ever had. 

From the first week of the school year,

I’ve known this was a special class.

But today was one of those days that I knew they were really special.

It was our first day back to school after winter break.

The students had been assigned a book report project

to complete over the break and bring to school today.

Last year when I gave this project,

the end results were a little disappointing,

so believe me when I say I held my breath this morning

when I imagined what types of disasters could be turned in today.

But instead, I was pleasantly surprised with nothing more than amazing work.

I think the best was their faces as they proudly marched their projects 

from our morning assembly to the classroom.

It’s hard to find words right now to describe how it feels as a teacher

to see that your students really listen to what you say

and start to love what you love when it comes to school.

I harped on them and reminded them each day of December,

“I want to be ‘Wow’ed.’  Create a project that is going to make me say,

“WOW!”

And let me tell you, there was WOW’s all over the place!

The work that these kids put into those projects,

and the pride and satisfaction you could see on their faces of a job well done,

man, that’s when teaching becomes the best job in the world.

 

I ooh’ed and ahh’ed as I looked at each one after school today.

“I can’t wait to grade this stack of projects,” said no teacher ever.

Except for me.  Today.

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I’m telling you! Even numbers ROCK!

2012 was a good year.

This year brought me a class of students of a lifetime.

Today I was reminded that I need to cherish moments like these with my students.

Time will fly.  And then I’ll be reliving these moments in my mind.

So though 2013 doesn’t mark an even year,

it has set me up with a resolution I can live for.

To make this odd year a memorable one:

Enjoy the Moment.

The best days of my life

I am in a cloud of bliss.

Pure bliss.

I feel like all my life I’ve been waiting,

looking towards the next benchmark in my life.

Hoping, praying, wishing.

I feel like there was always so much waiting.

Dreaming of what life would be like

after I graduated college, found a real job, met an actual nice guy,

started my real life.

And finally I am here.

Bragging makes me feel uncomfortable,

but honestly, I can’t hold myself back in this moment.

Because I feel so damn lucky to be in this moment right now.

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On December 20th, near the steps of the state capital

and in front of a beautiful Christmas tree

my deepest wish came true.

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Parts of that night are seriously a blur,

because I was just so happy and excited and emotional.

“We’re going to have the best life,” I remember saying tearfully.

But whenever I think of that night

or my future ahead of me,

my heart becomes so full, as if it may burst.

I never knew it was possible to feel this happy,

to contain this much joy and feel so much optimism for life.

Maybe all that waiting and wishing was worth it.

Tears of frustration and pouts of anguish.

Totally worth it.

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Cheers to the start of 2013.

Which I am convinced is only the beginning of

the best days of my life.

Bliss, I tell you, pure bliss!

May it never end!