Friday, October 3, 2014

Life Nowadays

I haven't blogged in a long time. Many things have changed in the past couple months. If you don't have time to read the rest of this blog, here's a brief summary. I'm happier than I have been in years. In fact, I don't remember the last time I felt less stress and more at peace with life. Life is good. Read on for some details. 

At the end of the summer, I interviewed with UVU to be an adjunct faculty member in their ESL program. I went to the interview and did very well, but I was initially informed that they did not have a position for me. I felt somewhat disappointed, but something told me to just wait. The day after the director indicated that he didn't have a position for me, he emailed me desperate for teachers in one of three courses. I decided to take their highest level listening and speaking class. It's been a great experience to teach these six upper-level students. Along with experimenting with various techniques and procedures in the classroom, I feel like I have honed my teaching skills in many ways. Teachers become better by teaching. It's not without its issues, but I have enjoyed getting to know students from all of the world in such an intimate setting. The pay is excellent and I look forward to continuing to work with these students throughout the semester.

I am also a TA for my professor on campus. He's a great professor to work for and I have the opportunity to work on my thesis with him as well. I help him with his two classes. One is an introduction to human language. This class has provided me with lots of opportunities to informally teach writing. It's always surprising to see how people don't proofread their writing carefully. The other class is a course about teaching reading, writing, and vocabulary. I love being able to sit in on this class for the second time. I have had a variety of this course twice, but this time I am able to focus on the content and assist others in learning the content. I love vocabulary research, but I'm also falling in love with research issues surrounding L2 literacy. 

I am also a tutor at the ELC and I run the English for Lunch program. I love being able to work in such a great English language learning context! It has taught me what makes a good intensive English program. 

I think many people saw how I was struggling early in the summer. I posted cryptic statuses on Facebook. I wasn't acting like myself. A couple of weeks before life became really difficult in April, I posted about revelation and dew, "When we find dew on the grass in the morning, we rarely think about how it appeared. It has simply appeared overnight, making the grass and flowers slightly damp. Likewise, revelation has appeared to me in the most obscure ways. I have felt that God is guiding my path to make difficult decisions." I struggled for quite some time before things started to look up again. The revelation continues to appear like dew. Over the past several weeks, I have reflected on my difficult times. I remember feeling empty inside and like something was missing from my life. I cried almost daily, longing for peace and comfort that I thought I would never have.

Why was I led down a path that was so painful? I honestly believe that some of the greatest beauty in this life comes from the greatest pain. The scars have had months to heal and I feel at peace once again. I wouldn't trade my experiences. I needed those experiences to know what I wanted and to know how I can be happy. I demonstrated bravery and authenticity. From these trying times, I learned that anything worthwhile in life must be sought out and (typically) fought for. I believe that through my pain and trials, I am in a place now that I can truly say I am happy. Forgiveness is a powerful force that can change everything. I hold no grudges and I am excited to continue to move forward, happy and satisfied. 

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