maybe some of you have never noticed, but there’s a page tab at the top of my blog. (go ahead. look…)
not the “about me” one.
not the “essential living” one.
but the other one?
the “upstate area speech and debate” tab. that one.
if you click it, it will point you to two other websites that i run/help manage. one for the high school communication courses that i teach, and the other for this FABULOUS club that i get to coach and be a part of.
it’s pretty awesome.
unfortunately– and probably to my neglect– i don’t talk about it much here on seeminglyrandom, simply because i have those other two websites and outlets to discuss them on.
however, i’d like to take a moment to talk about them.
they are my other “kids.”
in fact, before i married b and had my e girl, these students were what i thought of whenever anyone asked me about my “kids.” i can remember one time i went to a tournament with them– to give feedback and encouragement by watching them with their debates and speeches– and i ran into someone who asked me how many kids i had. not thinking about the fact that they could be talking about literal birthed or adopted children, it probably really confused her when i took about 15 seconds counting my students in my head, and answering, “well, i probably have about 23 here.”
her eyes about bugged out of her head.
i remember thinking that her reaction was weird until 30 seconds or so when she walked away… and i realized what she must have been thinking. then i died laughing.
but she asked me about my kids. and i answered.
i will be honest, sometimes i feel guilty. i used to be able to pour *all* of myself into my students… and now that i’m married and have “real” kids, i don’t feel like i can give of myself the way that i used to.
it used to be that as fall approached, my excitement would quadruple; i’d get to see my kids again… suntanned from summer vacations and camps, and ready to go with new speeches and debate topics.
i must admit the excitement is dulled a little now by realizing that fall means prep and grading and time away from my “real” kiddo and my husband… but such is the dilemma of any momma who is trying to balance work and home.
but just because i don’t like feeling “split” doesn’t mean that i don’t love the time i spend with my “kids” in class; in fact, i love their energy and excitement.
i love the fact that these kids come together and tackle topics that most adults have problems with. i love the fact that they offer solutions and try and fix complicated political problems– problems that most adults have jaded themselves to to the point of apathy.
it’s exciting to see their minds work, and i’m so grateful for the opportunity i have to help shape them.
this is my 9th year teaching and in that almost-decade, i have worn many hats: college teacher, high school teacher, college debate judge, college debate coach, faculty advisor for debate, and a high school debate coach. each of those hats have given me more “kids” than i can count… and i look forward to time showing me how these kids have grown and shaped their corner of their world.
so here’s a little note to my “kids,” the ones i see now, and the ones that have moved on to bigger and better things, like college, and jobs, and families of their own:
i love you guys.
and i’m so, so proud of you.
and for my current kids…
i can’t wait to see you soon.