Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Wedding And A Funeral

I'm done grading finals! It was a long and hard process as always but they are all recorded in RENWEB, our school grading system, and locked in by our registrar. I'll go through it again in May but it's more difficult in the Spring, compounded by the closing down of the school year. We gear back up on January 2nd with inservice and the kids will return back with a fresh slate the next morning. My tests are long and time consuming to take as well as mark but I teach the kids along the lines of the hymn, Tell Me The Story Of Jesus. If they don't know it, they can't tell it. The format is identical to the tests they take during the two nine weeks we have finished: memory, essays, listings, short answer, definition, fill in the blank, TRUE-FALSE. I had several almost perfect scores and several where it was obvious the child did not study. There will always be that division among test takers. 

Yesterday afternoon as I was taking a break from grading, I walked down the hall and fell into conversation with Ann Prophet and Cindi McLeod, two of my esteemed colleagues. We were discussing why I don't employ Scantron, a system you probably all used in one form or another, where you fill in a space on a piece of paper and a machine grades it. Part of my reasoning is that we have many international students who don't always know the correct word but can explain it with other words. My testing format allows me to interpret their responses and give full or partial credit for what they know. Sure enough, as soon as I returned to my room, I graded the exam of an eighth grade girl from China. The question had to do with Jesus raising from the dead the only son of a widow who lived in the village of Nain. The question read:
Jesus and His men entered a town called ___________. They met a ____________. 
Here was her answer on the second blank.   the opposite of a wedding
Perfect answer. It merited being counted as correct and it was. I had never thought if it quite that way but she is right. A wedding celebrates the beginning of two lives together and a funeral is the ceremonial end to that same relationship. In seventy-two hours, I will have finished officiating the wedding of Tiffany and Tony in Fort Worth. Tiffany is one of my favorite students ever, at WCS or anyplace else. Near of the end of their vows, I will ask the about to be newlyweds if they plan to be faithful so long as you both shall live? My Grandfather Hawley wrote that closing part of my ceremony for my folks' big day and he worded it closely but not identically to the traditional 'til death do you part.'  That's the plan; forever and ever until the last breath is 

taken. That's how it worked with my mom and dad and I have no doubt that's how it will be with Tiffany and Tony. I think it's fascinating that Tiffany answered that same test question when she was my student a few years ago. I'm pretty sure she got it right and I'm pretty sure she'll answer correctly when I ask her several questions this Sunday afternoon. She's been getting ready for this test for a very long time.

Applicable quote of the day:

Our parents fill our heads with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Big weddings, and white horses...but then we get our heart broken for the first time, and it hurts, and that multiplies to many heartbreaks...And it begins to show us that there is a little more to love and life than fairy tales and handed down dreams.
Ana Chable

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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