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Posts Tagged ‘#finishwell’

On Wednesday morning we will (in all likelihood) take the last, first drive to camp with our son. It will be year ten of driving the one hundred and fifteen kilometre (seventy-one miles), which can take anywhere from one hour to four, depending on traffic, road work and accidents.

He has been there as a camper, work crew, leader-in-training, cabin assistant counseling, maintenance, music and whatever else might need to be done.

Our son is most often a stoic home-body who accepts his introverted tendencies with full self-acceptance. Yet, he will leave on Wednesday for about seven weeks of activity, noise, lack of privacy, constant busyness and people around every corner.

In his seventeen plus years, he has only ever desired to save two things; his Thomas trains, and his camp shirts.

Imagine a rubbermaid container almost filled with different sizes, colours and styles of camp t-shirts!

It seemed a shame to me that these special relics of his past were relegated to the dark of the plastic container … too small or too old to be worn, yet holding of too many memories to dispose of forever.

Then, one day while perusing Pinterest, I came across an image of a quilt, made out of t-shirts. I was hooked!

With the assistance and support of the Textiles teacher, another Educational Assistant and the entire Textiles 11/12 class of students, I started cutting up the t-shirts …

then I realized that I was destroying my son’s valued possessions … without him knowing it!

Once I explained my vision, he okayed my plan (minus one, yet untouched, shirts, which he wanted to keep … whole.

Finally, last week, the task was completed (as was his task of completing all of his high school exams), and I handed over my labor of love to him … just in time for year ten.

Have a great summer, Wheatley … finish well!

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For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:9-14

 

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As the calendar turned to June, the theme at high school moves to finishing the school year.

Talk in the classrooms, the hallways and at staff meetings is of the last day of school, exams, studying and graduation.

It is at this time in the school year that a Biblical concept raises its head in the minds of those who both would and would not typically ascribe Toni daily life.

This concept comes from 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

I think that many who refer to this verse do so as a challenge to themselves or for others. It is the message we all need to keep in our minds as we focus on this place between where we are, and where we are headed. It reminds us that it is not the destination we are headed, but how we get there.

It is a good time, for school staff, students and parents of students to continue doing well, or, as is more often the case, redeem the parts of the year when we messed up, were apathetic, or were damaging in some way to those around us.

It amazes me how the strong effort of a student in preparation for a final exam can impress a teacher who had previously seen little evidence of effort. Or how the note of appreciation from a parent to a teacher who had a positive influence on their child can give a difficult school year true meaning. Or how a teacher can move a student from the pit of despair, to seeing a glimmer of light, by looking into the eyes of a student who has struggled all year, and saying “I know how hard this has been for you. This is only one small part of life. This exam does not define who you are.”

So, lets finish well, by encouraging those around us, who might just need a bit of hope for the weeks to come, or to erase the year past.

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“Oh my, they need to be done!”

Said a wise woman (myself), multiple times in the past couple of weeks (hours?), of the grade twelve students at our school.

I was convinced that my noticing that these (really, they are lovely) students need to be done was because I am almost exclusively working with students in grade 12, and my own daughter is in her final year. But, other, more wise and experienced staff assure me, this happens every year, at this time.

The evidence of what I am speaking about includes disinterest (in classes, events, even peers), disengagement (of studies, of others), disorder (if I hear once a class, I hear a dozen times, “stop talking!”), and distance (ie. from the school building, due to absences … with or (mostly) without approval).

My secret (so much for secret now) personal desire is that we gather every senior student in a room tomorrow morning, and say, “please do not come back to classes next week. Yes there are classes scheduled until next Thursday, but please, stay home.”

In the past week I have heard the following from a handful of students, regarding everything from absences, dress code, coming late, contributing to class discussions, etc:

“what are they going to do if I don’t ________? I’m done in a few days”

sigh …

My mantra is one that I say (repeatedly) to myself at this point in the school year, when the days are warm, and the evenings are long, and I am longing for summer break:

FINISH WELL

The work is not done until it is complete, and I/we need to strive to complete our task with the same energy and zeal that we began with.

2 Corinthians 8:11 reminds us of something similar to my mantra:

“now finish the work
so that your eager willingness to do it
may be matched by your completion of it,
according to your means”

This is a reminder to myself, as well as to those eager graduates in waiting, to finish well … only four more days of classes …

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