Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hope for the Future

I'm two weeks into a new semester with my university students and home schooling and I have reason to be hopeful.  I should make the caveat that every time I say something like that, I wind up cursed and sad.  For example, today I started to tell my students that a lack of rehearsal before giving a speech would cause them to say 'umm'  frequently.  Whenever I say that, I say 'umm' a lot.  65 times in ten minutes today.  My students took count at my request.  That's better than my record of 81 times in 5 minutes.

Why am I hopeful?  At least 25% of my students told us in their introductory speeches that they have actively worked with missionary groups.  Fully 50% want family and children.  And all of them seem open to getting my jokes.  Even though most of them are real groaners.

But mostly, I'm excited by the private conversations I've had with some of them.  One of my Elementary Education majors asked if she could interview me for a paper.  The interview was interesting because she was clearly asking questions that were based on her education classes.  She was impressed with my knowledge of instructional theory and practice.  I felt very smart.  We discussed the research on class size, as related to the STAR program in Tennessee, and the Gates Foundation Study in California.  I wonder what her instructor will think...

The second best encounter of the day (second only because it happened after the first) was a discussion about a speech topic.  My student wanted to write an informative speech about how to survive an attack from velociraptors.  He really thought I would say no.  I find his choice creative and interesting.  He will need to research all of the anthropological information he can find and turn that into a way to protect oneself from attack.   He's even considering the architecture of buildings that would be safe from attack.

I guess what I want to say is,  Life is good.  Kids are smart.  Praise God that we are well made!!!
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