Monday, May 17, 2010


My friend Beth has the most amazing job. She's a Palliative Nurse.
That means she helps people die. She makes them comfortable, surrounds them with the things and people they love, gets them whatever food they like to eat, keeps them company when they are lonely, and provides them with comfort and love.
I think everyone should have a Palliative nurse. But all the time. Not just when they are dying.
I think dear friends are like Palliative nurses. They help you transition through tough times with ease and grace.
They surround you with the people and things you love so that when your old self dies, your new self will be filled with the happy.

Thanks to my Palliative Nurses:
Kevin J.
Beth W.
Jill V.
Beth E.
Cortney W.
Mom J.
Susan S.
Greg G.
Jaime E.
Jacinda E.
Dana B.
Dustin S.
Ellen W.
Stephanie N.
Sara C.
Martin F.
Misty D.
Aaron B.
Atom V.
Katrine B-G.
Sandy C.
Susan G.
Mary M.
Amy C.
Jonny S.
Kendra L.
Susan E.
Auntie G.
Uncle J.
Joanna G.
Bill B.
A.J Jacobs
David S.
Elizabeth G.
Deepak C.
Sidney B.

and countless others.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Many people don't give the notion of destiny the credit it deserves. There are, in fact, critics who completely dismiss the idea of fortune, claiming life doesn't have a grand scheme. I however, have hard evidence to the contrary.
Consider this: In 1994 I entered college and opted not for a degree in the art of lucrative business, but rather a degree in the art of, well, art. I couldn't bear the thought of working behind a desk crunching numbers. I longed for a life full of excitement and adventure! One in which I could inspire students and famous people to save the world.
So, I picked up my life in Colorado and headed west to California where I learned to surf, badly. Finding a job where I could inspire all of humanity in LA with little to no experience was virtually impossible, unless you personally knew the cast of Beverly Hills 90210. Which I did not. And anyway I missed the mountains. The real ones. So, after a year of pouring coffee and dazzling my friends with my wit and charm, I packed up the Honda and headed back to Colorado.
In order to live the life of excitement and adventure I so desired, I decided that teaching would be the best avenue to get there. My parents are both teachers, and so are my grandparents so I figured I’d have a genetic disposition for the profession. Turns out I was right. I LOVE teaching! What a treasure to interact with students. Immediately, I was hooked and taught for 5 years until the economy tanked. I needed to find supplemental income. STAT. Slinging coffee didn’t appeal to me so I wanted to learn a trade that I could eventually teach and one that would make me extra cash. I headed back to California to learn how to be a journalist.
My second experience in the Sunshine State far exceeded my first. I still surfed badly, but this time a community of creative people surrounded me. I thrived in journalism school and couldn’t wait to share my new passion with students.
Little did I know then that my passion for teaching journalism would lead me to Arkansas. The deep south. The deep deep south. All I'd ever heard of the deep south was that that's where people who sleep with their sisters live. In Arkansas, I worked with university students teaching them how to film and photograph people. We traveled to India where we worked closely with the Tibetan people who lived there. I found my heart in India. I was finally doing what I was destined to do: tell stories.
My time in India was one of the most amazing teaching and learning experiences I’ve ever had. Excited to share my travel experiences with my family, I headed back to Colorado where, as fate would have it, a teaching position opened at the school where my mother taught for 10 years. I immediately applied and was hired.
My year at McAuliffe Elementary turned out to be the best teaching experiences I’ve had. Most people claim to have only one soul-mate, I have at least 85: I met and fell in love with 80 4th graders, 3 team teachers, and 2 administrators. I grew professionally in a way I’d never imagined I could. Unfortunately, as destiny would have it, a budget crisis eliminated my position.
Fate, as they say, has opened a new window and it’s up to me to follow the path destiny has laid out for me. Where that path leads, I am not certain: Brazil, Ft. Collins, Franklin Middle School?