Unless the rest of the people on the ski trip are playing Mafia. (and it’s after midnight, so OFFICIALLY it’s Monday, just FYI)

Because I hate Mafia. It makes my blood boil and I feel like saying unloving things like, “I know she’s the mafia because she dresses really tacky and always has bad breath!”

And that has nothing at all to do with the game.

So for the safety of the students, I do not play.

I blog. Equally time consuming, hopefully not a emotionally detrimental to the masses. [But maybe.]

I also tube. I don’t ski (remember The Injury?), but I do tube. And I tube on youtube. See for yourself.

Wait a minute, though. Let me preface a few things:
1) Turn your volume up. Because I have no pride.
2) I guess I didn’t realize that I tend to yell when I am traveling at high rates of speed.
3) At the end, I say “dig in!” because I was beginning to slide back down the slope. I did not say a bad word. I promise.
4) Candace was really concerned about the fact that I could have dropped my camera. But let’s be honest, I would not be heartbroken if this thing got busted and I was forced to purchase one that I actually like.
5) We just got in trouble with our hotel neighbors for laughing too loud at this video. Or maybe they were concerned about the volume at which I tube?

Wow. No shame, people. No shame.

The girls in my room have not stopped mocking me- “backwards! backwards!”. Sheesh.

We’ve had a great time. Taking 20 juniors and seniors anywhere is a breeze. Aside from rampant illness and mild injuries, we’ve had zero problems. Note to self: always sign up for youth trips involving older students. Much less stress.

The highlight of my trip has been this.

Backstory: 1997-1998: When I was a senior in high school, I worked at a private elementary school 1/2 day. I was in a second grade class- I adored the teacher and the students. Even as a freshman in college, I took a picture of that class to UGA with me because they made the difference. Yep, if that’s what teaching looked like [by the way, it doesn’t], then there is no question that’s what I want to do.

Modern day: Grace Ann’s boyfriend is along on this trip. They are both seniors, headed to Samford University in the fall. I’ve totally enjoyed getting to know him. So at dinner, we’re just talking. He mentions that he went to Eastside (the school I worked at). I asked him if he was the same age as a kid that was in that 2nd grade class- he says yes.

Suddenly, I pause. I ask, “Tyler, who was your teacher?”

Bingo. Sweet Tyler was in the SAME CLASS that I worked with everyday. 10 years ago.

10 years ago, he played a major roll in my life choice.

10 years ago, I was totally in love with him (and every kid in that class) and probably told stories about him at the dinner table. He probably signed my end of the year gift and I probably cried when I hugged his little boy neck on my last day.

Today, I looked at an 18 year old man as his eyes widened and he said, “I remember you.” And in an instant, his eyes were 8 years old again.

My eyes stung with tears.

There is one song that I have always considered my teaching song. I have sang it and prayed it for every class I’ve ever taught. And the chorus played through my mind as Tyler and I reminisced about that year, the vague and hazy details he remembers, the vivid moments that are in my memory.

I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering.
A child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name unapologetically,
And leave that kind of legacy.
– “Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman

As the end of this school year too quickly approaches, also signaling the end of teaching for me (for now), I think God will continue to drop these moments on me. The moments that remind me why I chose this profession in the first place. A hug from a loving little boy who has transformed into a graduating senior. The glimpses of myself in someone’s childhood memory. A completely unexpected gift, handed to me at a table in a Cracker Barrell somewhere in West Virginia. I’m grateful.

Yeah, this has been a great trip.