Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear Students

Well Hello!

We had a fabulous weekend, and hope you did too!

The weather is picture perfect here in Aggieland with the clearest blue skies and temperatures that are seasonably crisp and cool. I'm currently fighting an overwhelming urge to go to every restaurant in town that dares to have an outdoor patio and eat something outside in this awesomeness.

Because if not now, then WHEN?
You know I'm right.

It's so hard to believe it's just a few days until Thanksgiving, and many of you fortunate ones have probably already started your vacation or at least the preparations for it. You may know (or could guess) that some of my favorite TV watching comes courtesy of the Food Network, and I've already seen a couple of Thanksgiving Specials geared to helping us prepare the perfect feast for family and friends. I even heard one of the TV Chefs refer to Thanksgiving as the "Food Holiday".

And while I would enthusiastically agree that the food is an always much anticipated part of the celebration, I hope we don't forget the Thanks Giving part too.

It's easy to get wrapped up in the traveling and cooking and forget to let those you care about know how thankful you are for them. Like me, you may be missing someone this holiday, or find yourself wishing that the circumstances of your life were just plain different. Although it's rare that anyone would rate every season of their life perfect, I do believe that whatever our circumstances we should make every effort to look beyond what's not perfect and concentrate on each and every blessing.

Big or small.

I'm sharing a letter with you today that I sent to all my Aggie students. They've been a huge and wonderful part of my life for the last few months.

By reading this I hope you will be encouraged to take the time to consider some of the unexpected blessings of people in your own lives.
And remember, it only takes a minute to tell someone how grateful you are.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Students:

It’s almost Thanksgiving, an especially appropriate time to show our gratitude for special people who impact our lives. I’d like to do that today, because for me, you are some of those  special people.

Just think.
Many of you were convinced you’d never make it this far. That seemingly far-fetched dream of going home, seeing your families, and eating your Mom’s cooking has sustained most of you through the last few challenging weeks.

Oh, and the chance to sleep. You all really, really want to sleep.

Dragging yourself out of bed each morning for formation and PT has become an autopilot thing. On certain days making it to class is a triumph!
Sometimes I see you and think: “Look at them! They’re walking! Their clothes are all on straight! Their eyes are open! It’s a great day!”
You are truly a wonder.

Most of you know by now that I’m an ISFP- one of the “PEOPLE WITH ALL the FEELINGS”. So please, all of you “thinkers” just bear with me on the next part.

There have been days when I want to put my hands on your collective faces and say:
(Please pardon the following sentimental movie reference…)

You is kind
You is smart
You is important
(And yes, sometimes You is late with your assignments…)  J

Here’s the thing: I am so thankful for you. For the opportunity to share this little chunk of life with you. To be a part of one of the scariest, most challenging and exciting times of many of your lives. To be able to look back at your official “freshman photograph” taken what seems like eons ago at your New Student Conference, and see how much you’ve changed.

First, your hair. It’s gone. Bless it. May it Rest in Peace.

Your faces are slimmer, more chiseled. Sometimes I do a double-take when I pull up your pre-Corps photo online. Is that really you? I can’t imagine how many miles you’ve run, push-ups you’ve done, sandbags you’ve carried, and obstacle courses you’ve conquered.

You continue to have your uniforms altered to fit your taller, thinner selves. Oh, as a middle-aged woman to have that very problem for myself…
(Clearly, if I was more of a “thinker” I would be out on those runs with you.)

Most of those old pictures show excitement (and maybe a little apprehension) but now I see more of what appears to reflect determination and drive in your eyes. And pride. You’ve endured and accomplished things you never thought possible. You’ve proven that you are capable. You are able to think beyond your circumstances.
Well done. Very well done.

I have delighted in being called Ma’am so many times that I occasionally have to remind myself that’s not actually my given name. Many times I get a “Ma’am Sandwich”, starting and ending your sentence with that word of respect.
Thank you, by the way, I can’t tell you how honored I feel.

We’ve laughed together and cried (OK, fine. Maybe it was just me who cried).  We’ve commiserated over un-shined shoes and brass, a pesky lack of time management skills (or should I just say lack of time…), sophomore woes, and the nasty “fish” trap of procrastination.

We’ve read a novel, written goals (I promise you that Great and Glorious day will come when you all have time to meet girls!) We’ve discussed leadership and values and what it looks like to own the decisions that you make in college.

More than anything I think we’ve all learned a lot about each other and ourselves, and for that I hope you feel the class was worth the effort.
What I know with all certainty is that regardless of your age and life experience, you are some of the brightest, most talented, and exceptional people I’ve ever known. You make coming to my office and classroom each day a joy.

I am forever grateful for my time with you, and am a better teacher/person as a result.

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to you all- enjoy each and every minute.

My Best!

Mrs. D-T

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