JennieGScott.com - Page 8 of 17 - Enjoying the Journey
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26.05.2016

After nine years in a classroom, I'm leaving education. I will walk out of my empty room on Tuesday with books packed away and memories stored in my heart, leaving behind hundreds of adolescents who walked through the door looking for what they didn't know they needed.Honestly, I don't know if I gave them anything.I tried really hard, that's for sure. I wrote curriculum and read professional books and took classes to get better.I read adolescent novels and included the classics and tried to teach them some grammar.But as far as what they got? Who really knows. That's the agonizing peculiarity of education. You never really know how you did, even with test scores and data being thrown all around. You never really know if you made an impact that will be remembered beyond the last day of school. You never really know.I sure don't.If you're looking for a diatribe against the American education system, you won't find it here. I have a lot of thoughts on our system and a lot I think needs to be changed, but I'll keep those thoughts inside until the time is right to voice them.Here's what I do know: I can't stay. Not because...

28.04.2016

I just don't get it. It's the year 2016, people. Twenty. Sixteen.And yet here we are, with being female still being a hardship. A liability. A handicap, if you will.Today, the home page of a major news organization carried the headline, "Cheerleading Team Nixes Tryout Tips After Outcry."Here's  what this university - this institution of higher learning - values in its representatives: a "beachy glow." Hair with "volume." And don't leave out the all-important "false lashes." In other words, everything opposite of who we women really are when we wake up in the morning. Don't lose sight that the girl in the picture is also blonde and skinny. Two more traits that make a girl have the valued "look."Makes me want to puke.This week, I had a man suggest that my skirt was too short. It hit my knees. My knees. A man with whom I've had maybe two conversations in my life. A man who was bothered by the fact that my scandalous and I suppose seductive kneecaps were showing. Excuse me? First, who do you think you are? The clothes police? You have no legitimate reason to discuss anything with me, most especially the length of my skirt....

26.04.2016

I saw your hands tremble as you reached for the test. Your face displayed confidence, but your hands showed your heart. You're nervous, and I get it. You've worked hard and studied often, and you just want this test to show it. To you, right now, this score is everything. The score represents you, on a 10 point scale. It is your worth, from A to F. It is what matters, written in red.school.familyeducation.comBut sweet child, it's really not. It's really not everything. It's far from your worth, and even coming from your teacher, it's not what matters. It's just a test.What matters is what I've seen in you and from you during these weeks. The attention you've given, the details you've pored over, and the effort you've given. What really matters is the character you've shown as you've readied for the test and the perseverance you've had as you pursued what I taught.This test? It's just a snapshot. It's just a one-time indication of how you did one time you answered some questions. That's it. That's all. Nothing more.When you get your score back, I pray it's what you wanted. But if not? It's OK, because you - the value of...

17.03.2016

I want it all to be easier.I want to wake up in the morning, choose my path, and do what I love.I want the decisions to be obvious, the money to be readily available, the children to be always obedient.I want the fighting to stop, the politicians to be good, the heart not to hurt.I want to float through life, not fight through it.I want Eden. I want Heaven. I want them here.But.Here is fallen. Here is hard. Here hurts.Here, people betray those they pledge to love. Here, bodies break and brains deteriorate. Here, children die and hearts break.Here, this life thing is hard.But, mercifully, here is not hopeless. Here, in the hardship, is Jesus. Here, in the hurt, the Holy Spirit intercedes. Here, in the hostility, is God.This week, especially, the hard and hurt have been loud. This week, all around, I see pain and hear, "Why?" Here, this week, I want what isn't, and I want what is to change. Yet in the hard and in the hurt, light is shining. Faith is growing. Love is abundant. And for today, for right now, that's enough....

09.02.2016

At 36,000 feet, you can clearly see what's not visible from the ground. Miles above the surface of the planet, everything looks different, and with no effort on your part, perspective shifts and your eyes see what was once hidden.Difficulties are kind of like being 36,000 feet in the air.You need to understand that I hate to fly. Hate. It. I have to be medicated and nearly crush my husband's hand during takeoff and make people around me nervous that I'm going to lose my mind. I once nearly hyperventilated on a flight from Miami, and on my last flight from Chicago, my shirt was stained with sweat rings. There is no place I hate worse than the cabin of an airplane. My most fervent prayers have been as my flights taxi towards takeoff. I pray that the rivets will hold, the crew ate a nutritious breakfast, the fuel is untainted, the tires were manufactured properly, fellow passengers have only the best intentions...

08.02.2016

Sometimes we adults need permission just like children, so here's my permission slip for your grown-up heart.It's ok to feel what you're feeling right now.I've been struggling lately with a lot of big feelings, and rather than lean into them and learn what they're trying to teach me, I've been running from them. Ignoring them. Denying that they're there.But in the darkness and silence, those few minutes alone in an empty car, they cry out to me. They call my name and catch my breath and demand to be noticed. So I'm trying. It's so much easier for me, the one who flees rather than fights, to shut them out and pretend them away. But all that has left me with is unresolved sadness, unreconciled hurt, and unmet longings.So here I am, trying to listen to what my heart needs me to hear. And I'm giving you permission to do the same. I'm also giving you permission to tell God what you feel. Yes, He knows, but I'm learning that He wants us to trust Him enough to take it to Him. All of it. Those big feelings, where you feel alone and afraid and like He loves everyone but...

14.10.2015

Hey, October teacher.I saw you stumbling into the lounge this morning, well before you were paid to be there, fumbling for quarters to get a caffeine fix.housetalkn.comI saw the papers spilling out of your bag, the ones you graded too late last night because you promised you would.I saw that silly Homecoming week get-up you wore to promote school spirit, and I also saw you tutoring that student from 4th period because she just can't understand how to multiply polynomials yet.I saw you - see you - and wanted you to know.I also want you to know I understand. October is a hard month in this line of work. The new of August has worn off, the exultation of Christmas break is far away, and you're smack dab in the middle of it all. You're in the meat of the material, the midst of the semester. You're in the meetings and the grading and the planning - and you're wondering if any of it makes a difference.Rest assured. It does.I know in the midst of it all you start losing sight of the forest for the trees, and you focus so greatly on the details that you miss the big...

11.10.2015

I woke up yesterday morning absolutely irate with an imaginary cashier at a grocery store from my dreams because she stole fifty cents from me.I have no idea what I ate that might have caused such a realistic and ridiculous dream, but let it be known that if you ever steal fifty cents from me, I will find your manager (whose name was Gage, by the way, in this dream that needs to be analyzed) and give him a piece of my mind. And if he smirks at me because "it's just fifty cents," we will have a conversation about integrity and how the monetary amount couldn't matter less - it's a revelation of the heart.Bless my heart.I'm trying not to let my heart be hardened against the grocery store chain I dreamed of, but I'm not there, yet. She stole from me, y'all. And Gage didn't care.So that's how my Saturday started.And this is how it ended.Photo courtesy of Travis ListerMy family has season tickets to Clemson, and we're kind of hard core.While Hurricane Joaquin was sending his rain-remnants last week to South Carolina, we were watching the game. In the rain. Wearing get-ups like this.And when ESPN College...

04.10.2015

So you found out your friend is going through a divorce. She may have called you herself, or you may have heard through the grapevine that her marriage is ending, as half of all do.As a friend, you want to be there, but you're unsure of what that means. Do you call? Do you ask how she is?Just what is it she really needs?My own divorce is now years old, but whenever I hear of another marriage crumbling, my heart is quickened to the needs I had back then, and my deepest desire is to give what is really needed. No, not every person facing divorce is the same, but I believe there are universal needs that most who are divorcing share. (I'm writing from the female perspective since it is my own.)What She Needs:She needs you. More than she has ever needed you before, she needs your presence in her life. Divorce often costs people friendships, for reasons understandable and varied. Sometimes friends are mutual between the two who are divorcing, and sometimes they are forced to choose sides. Sometimes people just don't know how to be a friend for a person whose life is suddenly different. A loss...

23.09.2015

I tell my students all the time, "Guys, listen. I've been where you're going. I've been to 10th grade English, and I know what they expect you to know. I've been to the SAT, and I know what you have to be able to do. I've been to college, and I know that the quality you're turning in now won't cut it then." I tell them I've been there because they need to know I'm trustworthy. They need to know my methods aren't haphazard but are preparing them for what's to come. They need to know my knowledge of their yet-to-come determines my actions in their happening-right-now. They need to know, and so do I.I need to know my God is trustworthy. I need to know His methods aren't haphazard, and I need to know His knowledge of my yet-to-come determines His actions in my happening-right-now.It's so tempting and natural for me to forget God knows. He knows what was and is, and most comfortingly, He knows what will be. The future is past to Him, and He is not limited by the space and time that bind me. Nothing I face surprises His heart, and everything I face passes...