I find myself looking for a way to get a transfusion of Erin Energy this afternoon.
Of course, the semester started last week. Funny how out-of-teaching-shape I can become with just a few weeks absence from the classroom. That meant I was already running a little low on the energy-o-meter heading into the weekend. Doing a lanyard workshop with seventh and eight grade Student Council members at College Station Middle School on Friday afternoon was enough to charge me up a bit. Those young folks were quick studies and made some absolutely fantastic lanyards. When I finish them all (maybe this evening?), we're going to try to figure out a way to display them at their school so that their teachers can check out their work and professionalize their own look by hanging their IDs from a jeweled lanyard instead of a nylon string.
As soon as I packed the lanyard gear away and made it home, I did the presto chang-o from workshop instructor into festive occasion attender. Walter and I had the pleasure of attending the Brazos Valley African American Museum banquet, where we had a fabulous time with our friends Al and Mary Broussard and their daughter Valeri, and where, I might add, it was impossible for me to dress too boldly or with too much style (though I gave it my best shot). I felt like I was at a Glamour photo shoot when I looked around the room (and there were hundreds of people there!).
Yesterday Spencer and I (and Sarah, Laura, and Mary Ann) took the Jane Long Chess Club to their first tournament. I know that few reading this would savor the experience of spending thirteen hours in close contact with eleven 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys, especially on the car trip home where they played the game "Who Likes The Way This Smells?" (NOTE BENE: please feel free to imagine what buffalo jerky burps, six pairs of feet unfettered from their sneakers after twelve hours, and farts fueled by Sour Punch Twists, birthday cupcakes, Whoppers, and pizza smell like when trapped in a van for more than an hour.) I, however, had a great day. The guys worked really hard and kept their concentration up through all five rounds, and we made it home with way more than our share of trophies, including the second place team trophy.
This morning Walter, my mom, and I had the privilege of attending church at A&M United Methodist Church in College Station (though I have to say that neither Walter nor I could bear to miss teaching our Sunday school class, so we double dipped this morning). Our dear friends and fellow pediatric cancer parents Jacob and Samantha Wlison (mom and dad to the wonderful Ryan) had lifted Erin up as a possibility of being the honoree in an anthem their church was having commissioned. That piece, composed by Dan Forrest, lyrics written by Johanna Anderson, and conducted by Craig Courtney, premiered this morning to a packed house. I can't express how we felt during the service. Everyone was so welcoming and supportive, and the idea that Erin's life can now be accessed by so many more people through music is overwhelming.
You can imagine, now, how much I would really appreciate a little of that super-charged Erin juice in my veins, so that I can prepare for the next week. I have another heavily-scheduled week ahead, including the much anticipated return of Odd Friday lanyarding at my house, beginning at 4:00 (or after work) this Friday.