Transitions

I get married seventeen days from now. June25June25June25.

After that, it’s off to San Francisco for a six day honeymoon.

Then, off to Orlando to begin a new chapter in my life. In some ways, I feel like I’m beginning a new life all together, but I try to remind myself that this is just changing and growing, not becoming someone new.

I spend everyday with the strongest sense of anticipation I’ve ever felt. It’s like a swarm butterflies in my stomach, constantly, without ceasing. (What do you call butterflies when they travel in groups? A swarm? A flock? Do butterflies even travel in groups at all?)

Since graduation, I’ve just sort of been hanging out at home. And it really feels that way–as though I’m hanging in suspension between my life that was and my life as it will be. My time is sort of split between two feelings.

On the one hand, I feel the nostalgia that accompanies dealing with all the things I’ve held onto all these years. I’m working on scrapbooking it, packing it up, or getting rid of it.

On the other hand, there’s the anticipation that comes with wedding and honeymoon planning…not to mention just LIFE planning. I am not stressed out or nervous about wedding stuff…it’s the stuff that comes after that has me anxious. Will we find somewhere to live? Will we get enough financial aid to cover school and other expenses? Will I be able to fit all my stuff into our new place? What will I cook that he will like? Will I find the community in our new church that I’m hoping for? There is just so much! So much to think about.

But it’s all good. So good.

There’s constant butterflies…

and a constant smile and sense of joy. I’ve never been so excited for anything in my life. In the meantime, I’ll work on cherishing the next seventeen days.

This weekend, I get to spend some time with my college friends, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! 🙂

On UF

This is something I scribbled in my planner the week of April 26th, walking around campus for one of the last times.

I love this campus. When I walk around in the shadows of these red brick buildings and the shade of the aging oak trees, I am filled with a feeling unlike any other I’ve experienced. With every step I take, I feel it–a strong sense of purpose and direction (or at least, a sense that I am uncovering it), and the insatiable desire to learn as much as I possibly can. I walk around acutely aware that every person I pass has something they could teach me. This wasn’t true of me when I first arrived. Of all the lessons I’ve learned here, that is the most important.

And as I graduate and reflect on my four years here, I am amazed at how I have changed. I have found that sense of purpose and direction for my life but ironically, it was very little to do with major, career, arts, science, or diploma. It has everything to do with Jesus.

Within the four walls of my classroom, I learned about constructivism and Vygotsky, guided reading and inquiry, authentic assessment and least-restrictive environment. No doubt, these things will make me the effective, engaging elementary school teacher I want to be.

But on my FAB trip, I learned that it is possible, worthwhile, and empowering to work and live life with incredibly diverse people. The dozen-or-so people on my team were different in EVERY possible way I can think of. And in less than one week, I learned how incredible they each are and how quickly real relationships can be  formed. I learned how each “difference” meant they had something to teach me.  There is a special place in my heart for each and every one of them. Not to mention, I learned more about educational inequality than I have learned in any of my university courses.

As part of the Women’s Leadership Council, I learned that as an individual woman, I am strong. I learned that as part of a team of women, we are a force to be reckoned with. I learned that women, despite different political views or cultural background, have many of the same concerns and desires. I learned how to work really hard to bring something to fruition.

From Florida football, I learned that there can be a strong sense of family and community among 90,000 strangers. I learned the power of cheering someone on and the encouragement of friends (or strangers). I learned that there are few things quite as thrilling as a Saturday in the SEC. From Tim Tebow, I learned to never hesitate to say, “I believe in Jesus,” no matter how many people are listening.

From Campus Crusade for Christ, I learned that of all the things I will accomplish in life, Jesus is the only thing that matters. I learned that telling people about Jesus is my highest calling (and one I often ignore or fall short of). I learned that worship is a powerful thing.

From my community group, I learned what it means to love unconditionally, to love like Jesus. I learned what it means to be honest. I learned what it means to serve. I learned what true friendship looks like, and that I can not live my life outside of authentic community. I discovered what I want my life to look like. (But that’s a topic from another time.)

They say the Gator Nation is everywhere. I hope that’s true. Because I can’t forget these lessons. I can’t move on from them as I move on from UF. They’re part of who I am now. I’m a Gator.

How old are you now?

Today is my sister Ashley’s birthday. She’s fourteen.

FOURTEEN.

I still remember the day my parents sat Kelsey and me down to say, “How would you like a little sister or brother?”

I remember the day when I was being picked up early from school, and my teacher Ms. Owens said, “Maybe today’s the day! Do you think the baby’s here?”

She wasn’t. She came a few days later.

Ashley’s entering her second year as a teenager, and I still can’t grasp that fact that she is one! Sometimes she says something, and I do a double-take because it sounds so grown-up. I still think of her as a baby.

At fourteen, you…

…are obsessed with Lost and give me a hard time for not watching it.

…love to save money, but are also generous enough to treat your whole family to a night out at a baseball game. (Thanks again for that, by the way.)

…are wearing your typical messy hair.

…are super excited to be gaining a brother-in-law soon. This makes me so, so happy.

…still love the Disney Channel, even though sometimes you claim it’s not cool.

…will start high school next year. This is weird for me.

…are very, very loved.

Happy birthday, Ash! 🙂

Ashley and me in Alaska (July 2007)


HB7189

This is the letter I sent to Governor Crist, Speaker Cretul, and my district’s representative. It’s not perfect, but I said some of what I wanted to say. I really hope that if you haven’t already, you’ll take the time to read HB7189, become informed about what it means for Florida’s teachers and students, and send your legislators your opinion.

To the Honorable Larry Cretul:

My name is Lindsey Jameson. I am currently a senior at the University of Florida studying Elementary Education K-6. Education is my passion. I can not imagine myself doing anything else. Though only time in my own classroom will tell, I believe that UF’s College of Education has equipped me with the skills and expertise needed to become an effective teacher.

This being said, I am writing to express my wholehearted opposition to HB7189.

First of all, no teacher chooses this profession for the money, as I’m sure you know. The profession is much too grueling, and the meager salary would never be enough to ensure motivation through an entire teaching career. Rather, it is the love of children and the belief that education is the foundation of democracy that inspire myself and my peers to pursue this career, even in an often discouraging political climate. Indeed, I feel discouraged. It seems as though the Florida Legislature has ignored the expertise and opinions of the state’s teachers.

Read the rest of my letter after the jump.

Continue reading “HB7189”

At the end of my rope

I have loved my pre-internship this semester. I was placed with a fun, hard-working partner and a mentor teacher who truly cares about her students and encourages Barbara and me. As someone trying to become a confident, capable teacher, there’s sometimes nothing better than hearing, “It’s ok. They don’t always listen to me, either. They are learning. Keep going.”

I’ve been struggling to find a word that best describes our second-graders, because there probably isn’t just one that will do the trick. They are fun. Funny. Interesting. Smart. Struggling. Creative. Artists. Rambunctious. Loud. Mostly, they are challenging. While they reinforce some of my beliefs about teaching, they challenge others. They challenge me to manage the classroom better, to be more enthusiastic, and to work harder.

They challenge my patience.

One student in particular is especially hard for me to love. Let’s call her K. K spends much of her day in trouble, but doesn’t care. She is smart, but doesn’t listen to you. She longs to have friends, but is mean to her classmates. Clearly, something in our classroom isn’t working for her, but I’ve struggled to find a solution for it. With less than two weeks left in my placement, I felt myself giving up.

During this past week, we spent several days going over a grammar concept. I was attempting to clarify it a little on Thursday, and K was driving. me. crazy. She would not face the front, she would not stop talking, she would not stop bothering the kids sitting next to her. At the end of the lesson, I was annoyed with her and not sure the kids understood what I was explaining. As they for P.E., she came up to me and said, “Ms. Jameson, so-and-so was laughing at me and–”

I cut her off and said, “K, I don’t care.” Ugh. Foot? Meet mouth.

The last thing I EVER want to make my students think is that I don’t care about them or what’s important to them. In that moment, I let my frustration get the best of me and lost my cool. I spent the rest of the day mad at myself and just hoping she knows I care despite what my words & actions indicated.

Later, I apologized and talked to her about what we can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again. When it comes time to teach another lesson, I’m not sure she’ll care to keep up her end of the deal. But oh well.

I never want to be a teacher who, near the end of my career, says I am burnt out. At the same time, I certainly understand how people can get there. In my current placement, I don’t have anything CLOSE to the responsibilities of a full-time teacher, and yet I’ve already felt myself at the end of my rope with this particular child.

That’s when I heard God gently telling me, “See? You don’t have enough energy, patience, knowledge, or skills to do this on your own. You need some of mine.”

So here’s to praying my rope will grow a little longer next week.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13

EDIT: As I re-read this post, I realized I made a mistake with the same grammar concept I was trying to teach my students. hahaha…talk about humbling!