Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Gambler

Gamble: to take a chance on; venture; risk.

I have been thinking the last little bit about taking chances.  There are two major lines of thought on how to live life.  One is to play it safe, and the other is to take risks.  My friends and I have been discussing this, mainly in regards to BYU football, and their strategy to keep things simple and disciplined.  We personally think that they should take a few more chances and get more creative.  I would love to see both Nelson and Heaps in at the same time and see some trick plays, or at least keep the defense guessing.  I admire the coaches and program, but they drive me crazy sometimes.  They have stuck to their guns though, and I suppose you have to admire that.

How easy it is to look at others and say that they should take a chance.  Looking at all the talent and potential that they have and wish they wouldn't hide it in fear of making a mistake.  Maybe they will be less likely to throw an interception with this strategy, but mistakes can still happen and you miss out on some spectacular moments.

Then I began to think about myself.  I think I am pretty great, I am very happy with where I'm at and who I am.  I live life without many struggles, without fear.  I try to work hard and be disciplined, and life always seems to find a way of working out.  But like BYU, sometimes I don't really let people see the whole me.  I play it safe and hope that as I take care of myself, I can handle anything that comes my way.  Most of the time I come out on top and if I lose I can say, well I stuck to my guns and played a disciplined game.

I fear that at times, even though I love life and have not thrown many interceptions, that I too sometimes miss out on those amazing plays that life can and does provide.  Luckily, this weekend I took a chance and when invited to go to a concert, with a few people I didn't know very well, I accepted.  I could have easily said I didn't know the band, or said I had plans. (Several other people had in fact invited me to do stuff) But I went and had an amazing time and got to meet some new people, as well as get to know others better.  I also found out I really like the band fun. 

Some people may look at things in life and call it a gamble.  But I have found that very rarely do I lose when I take a chance to venture out and take a risk.  Life is meant to be lived, not discussed and diagrammed.  There is so much potential in each one of us, don't hide your life, share it with anyone and everyone you can.  I am glad someone was willing to give me that chance and that I "gambled" and came out a winner.  Hopefully I can start calling more plays that lead to touchdowns, or be ready whenever my name is called.  Now if we can just get BYU to understand this...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Change of Heart

I am LOVING this school year!  Which is very good, because I went into it worried about the upcoming year more than ever.  This summer I worked really hard at trying to progress as a teacher and learn more and more.  I earned 8 credits for my efforts and came across a few things that will benefit me and my class this year.  Unfortunately, it did not leave me a lot of time to actually focus on getting ready for the year.  Then I found out my scores from last year and I felt like they did not reflect how much I improved my second year.  In fact, my scores dropped in everything, except for science, which once again was the top score.

That does not look good, to do worse your second year of teaching.  It took me about a day or so to come to grips with it and to stop dwelling on something I could no longer do anything about.  I was worried though, maybe I was not as good of a teacher as I had thought.  I am used to being at the top, and am very competitive.  I always want to be the best, and I wasn't.  So I was a little apprehensive for school to start.

Then I met 33 of the most amazing people I have ever known.  Some of them were excited to see me, some were very nervous to have their first male teacher.  But they quickly realized that I am not scary and that if nothing else, I care about them.  In fact, one of my boys told me that the first day of school I made him feel so special that he almost cried.  I have also had several parents thank me for the things I am trying to do.  As a teacher you can always do more, but I am trying my best.  I feel, with more confidence than I have ever had, that this year is going to be something very special.

My best is all I have to give.  I have nothing to worry about, because I know that I am a great teacher.  I care about my students and I have the knowledge and skills to back my heart up with.  Now, a week into school, when I have a dream that I got fired (I honestly had to stop and check when I woke up to see if it was real or not) my dream ended with my student's parents being so angry that they all signed a petition to keep me.  So even subconsciously I have an army to back me up.

The brain can only hold one thought at a time, make it one worth having.  So far this school year my thoughts have all been ones worth having and I don't plan on that changing anytime soon.  I think to many of us get down on ourselves.  We aren't doing as bad as we think we are.  I am one of the most positive people you will ever meet, but even I forget sometimes.  If you too have forgotten, I give you permission to have the same change of heart I did.  Life is great!  Live it that way.