Speaking of meetings, this has been a week full of meetings. The weekdays were fairly normal for me. I went to school each day as usual (working too many hours, as usual). Tim had his normal routine on Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday directly after school he left for Dillingham. The social studies committee had their first meeting to review over the social studies curriculum. I have been involved in the science committee for just over a year now. Ever since I started on the science committee, Tim has really been looking forward to the social studies committee starting. He was actually asked to be the committee chair. It's not quite clear what that job entails, but it should look good on a resume anyway.
Tim had meetings Thursday and Friday at the district office with 5 other social studies teachers from around the district. Thursday morning they discussed the philosophy of curriculum and what curriculum is. They spent the rest of the day discussing the social studies scope and sequence from elementary to middle school. I think Friday they spent most of the day discussing scope and sequence throughout high school. Tim will probably be going into district office once every month or two this school year to continue working on the committee.
Friday evening there was a community potluck in honor of the teachers. To my knowledge, this is the first time since we've moved here that the community has reached out to the teachers. Individuals in the community have been kind, but I was happy to see the community putting forth a nice gesture. Tim returned as we were eating at the potluck. Luckily he arrived before all the food was gone and was able to get some for himself too.
I spent about 5 hours at the school on Saturday prepping for the beginning of the upcoming week. Saturday evening, Tim spent that night at home relaxing and I went over to Heather's and Kim's apartment to play Ticket to Ride. It's actually the first game I've played a game this school year. I was a little shocked to realize that I haven't taken time out before now to play a game.
Other than the lesson planning and the game playing, we spent most of our weekend attending church meetings. This weekend was General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have General Conference twice a year, once in April and once in October. This is a time that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the world gather to listen to the leadership of our church speak to us. There are a total of five two-hour meetings between Saturday and Sunday. Members from across the world have various methods of joining in. Tim and I joined by telephone, some stream the meetings via the internet, others watch them on television, some listen by radio, and some attend in person in Salt Lake City. I look forward to General Conference; it is a spiritual feast and I can always use a spiritual recharge. The scriptures, including the Bible and the Book of Mormon, teach us much about God, Jesus Christ, the gospel, and how we should live our lives. We can find great counsel and learn great lessons from studying the scriptures. General Conference gives us an opportunity to gain knowledge that compliments and expands on the scriptures. We hear from modern day prophets that speak truths, as the scriptures do, but what they speak of is particularly relevant to our time, our struggles, and our needs. There were several addresses on several different topics. I want to share some of the things that stuck out to me from the conference.
Quentin L Cook spoke of a spiritual drought. He suggested that if we feel as if we're in a spiritual drought, perhaps we have become lax or focused our priorities in places other than the gospel. This was a good reminder to myself to keep in mind that my relationship with my Father in Heaven and my following his will is the most important priority. I should not allow lesson planning or other things to creep above that.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave a very powerful address. He spoke of regrets of people who are terminally ill and gave us guidance for avoiding finding ourselves with the same regrets. Spend more time with those you love. Do not take pride in simply being busy. Let yourself be happier. External circumstances do not determine our happiness, we do. Choose to be happy. Don't be so focused on the finish line that you do not enjoy the journey.
This was some timely advice for me as I have been longing for January 2nd to come and thinking about how "real" life can start then. I've been counting down the days of 1st semester as well when I can experience a "career change". It is okay to be excited and look forward to the future and it's even okay to count down as long as I don't forget to enjoy each day. I need find happiness in each day I have with my students even if I feel as if I'll enjoy each day with my daughter more. She's not here yet, so I might as well enjoy what life deals me until she gets here!
L. Tom Perry and a few other speakers addressed families and children. Marriage and family are so important. They are central to the gospel plan. They are sacred. Because of this, they are greatly targeted by the adversary. We must be responsible and wise in our marriages and families. They are precious and we must treat them as so. It makes me think of a quote for David O McKay (former prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints): "No other success can compensate from failure in the home." Parents are responsible for bringing up their children and teaching them correct principles. Parents pray for help, hold family home evening, pray as a family, and eat as a family. Share your testimony with your children. Have family rules, expectations, and traditions. I can't imagine life without my family. I am so grateful for parents who love each other and love their children. I am so grateful for parents who expected us to behave well and do our best. I didn't realize as I was growing up how lucky I was with my family situation. I will also be ever grateful for the goodness of my husband's parents and family. Where would we be without such great examples and teachers?
Lastly, I want to share some thoughts I had regarding the address of Jeffry R. Holland. He spoke of our relationship with God and becoming disciples. We must love God and our Savior Jesus Christ. I asked myself about my motivation for following commandments of God. Do I do as he asks because I fear Him or because I love Him? The first of the ten commandments states that we should love God. We should pray often and include God in our lives. We can ask Him what he would have us do, thank Him for our blessings, and share with Him our fears and concerns.
There are so many other great truths that were spoken. If you would like to listen to or read any of the addresses visit: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2012/10?lang=eng