Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond

I've been away from home for the past three days and nights, working on an evaluation team of a school I used to teach in some 16 years ago. It's been an interesting learning experience as I will be going through this at my own school next year.

I've been staying at a charming bed and breakfast in this college town. Always before, when I've been in town for meetings, I've stayed with my sister (or my parents until they moved to Maine three years ago). But since I was evaluating my sister's school, we thought it might be better if I didn't stay with her. That's been weird, but the B and B is lovely.

The owners are people I've known for years, too. My sister worked for them when she was in college, before they ran the B and B, and I taught their youngest son out in Michigan, also years ago. It's been fun to catch up with them. They make a delicious breakfast...I felt really pampered, which was a nice treat during the week. I never get this kind of thing unless I spend the weekend with my parents!

Today, the fourth day of the evaluation, was really emotional. I didn't know how hard it would be until it was over. I spent four enormously happy years teaching at that school and four difficult ones (the first two and the last two) so the memories are stacked high in every corner of the building. It was a challenging but interesting experience, to be sure.

The emotional part came during our presen- tation to the administration and later the faculty and board. We had some strong things to say, although they were true and fair. I kept putting myself in their place and thinking how I would handle what we were saying. After the report to the faculty and board, I was talking with my sister and brother-in-law about something totally unrelated and got all choked up. Tears spilled out uncontrollably...and I felt a need to just sob (which I didn't as there were many people all around us).

I didn't under- stand it at first, but on thinking it over later, I thought about how all-consuming this job we have is. How, if you care at all about what you're doing and who you're doing it for, you give everything you have to make it work. Working in Christian Education is rewarding but exhausting. You are like a well that is expected to give endlessly, but that's only possible if there is a fountain somewhere periodically if not continuously refilling the well. Truth is, you cannot survive it on your own, and certainly not without a strong relationship with Christ.


Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing the wedding pictures. I showed them to my mom, and we had a good time.

Patty said...

Oh Rondi, that sounds like such a difficult job. Some things are just tied up in heartstrings, making all aspects of it difficult.
Sounds to me that after that, you need to head off to that Spa that Oprah showed ! You deserve a rest and renewal : )

Rondi said...

I actually looked the spa up. I could afford exactly one night =) But I do plan to take some serious R and R this year. I'm realizing that unless I do that, I can't do my work well the rest of the time.