I am grateful for the men in this photo: my friend and colleague Brian (left) and my husband Tyler (middle). My dear friend Kassie took this photo, so she's not in it, but I'm also counting her as part of it since she captured a perfect moment along the Inca Trail. I am grateful that I have made travel a priority in my life so I can find constant wonder in the rest of this amazing world.
Brian is not only one of my closest friends, but his classroom is also across the hall. He'll be moving after this school year, and I can't even talk about it without starting to cry. In many ways, Brian is my twin. I have been spoiled to teach with my friend for the past eight years, and I can't imagine how that will change when he is gone.
Tyler is water when I am fire and practical when I am irrational. He does research, plans ahead, thinks things through, stays organized, and I benefit from it all without developing any of those skills. He is thoughtful and kind and forgiving, and I'm hoping that the longer we are together, the more I can steal some of that through osmosis. He is also the best roommate I've ever had, and I don't mean that to sound flippant. As someone who craves a lot of alone time, he is the only person I've truly lived with in harmony. I also love our cats and his bond with them (#CatDad) and our drafty Sears farmhouse that used to belong to his great-grandparents.
I am grateful for my hetero-lifemate Mindy. Our friendship started in middle school, and while her path took her to a life teaching yoga in South Korea, and mine brought me to a farm in rural Iowa, distance and time apart do not stop our bond or our love. She is still the person who understands me best, even when we let time lapse between catch-up phone calls and Skype.
I am grateful for all of the fellow English teachers I have met through UNI, IWP, and ICTE, even though I don't have many pictures of them. This picture with Allison from ICTE in our post-presentation glow will have to convey the love I feel for the people I've met who share my passions and push me forward in this career.
As I was sorting through photos I had on hand and ready to share, it was a wonderful moment to realize how many people in my life I have to be truly grateful for.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.