Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ready for Fall Now

(PIC: Christi, one year, 1998 - note all of her baby pictures across the cabinet. I had her pictures taken every three months. I'm so glad I did. I treasure them!) Shayla came home from school Friday afternoon and basically slept until Saturday mid-morning. Her ear had really been hurting her. Thankfully, the medicine and the prayers are working and she’s now feeling almost better. I think she will have a great week!

Classes also start at BG tomorrow and I couldn’t be happier about that! I’m sooooo excited about meeting my 65 students for the semester and getting started. (Being so far removed from Seneca East and the constant “Christi reminders” really, really helps! I am so lucky to have my new job!) I again have a sweet schedule; it’s exactly the same as last year’s: three total classes, (which I taught both semesters last year) two total preps and juniors and seniors – ahhhhhh! My new GA, who will work ten hours a week for me, has already been working on the assignment list I’ve given her. She seems like a great gal. It’s hard to believe last year’s is now off teaching – wow! I was also very pleasantly surprised to receive a letter that I got a raise! I knew my peers had voted for me to receive merit based on the documented evidence of my work submitted for my first year, but I didn’t comprehend that was directly tied into any salary increases. So what a surprise blessing that was!

We have the second largest freshmen class in the 100 year history of the university starting tomorrow – nearly 4,000 freshman (a 15-20% increase). Typically, there are about 60-70 Middle Childhood majors in each class; on Saturday, we had a workshop/meeting for 100 freshmen Pre Middle Childhood majors. We stressed (to those very nervous incoming freshmen) BG’s requirements are higher than the state of Ohio’s because we don’t want to prepare teachers who have just minimum standards and that every single class is important in establishing GPA and getting accepted into our Middle Childhood program. Hopefully, they understand the seriousness of the situation and that they will work hard and do well so that they can stay. I was also able to spend precious time with my sweet friend, Beth, who was in BG for the weekend! Yipee!

On Friday, I finally got my home computer totally restored and my work computer was returned to my office. It took what seemed like forever, but now it’s done and I can quickly locate everything I need. (That's why I have all of the old Christi Pictures here today!) I no longer have excuses for not getting that cemetery plaque ordered so I will definitely do it this fall! I have the file of my ideas. I promise you, sweet Christi, you’ll have that marker soon!

I was asked about my publishing, so I will briefly share here. (I think it’s been going great – or I’m having fun at least!) I thought I had to have six publications in peer reviewed journals in three years; in fact, it’s six publications in six years as one of my tenure requirements. (Three in my first three years.) Thankfully, I’ve already made my first three year assignment as I have three in my first year. Praise God! “The Rewards of Teaching” will be published in February 2011 in “Middle Ground”. “Reading Globally” published by Corwin Press in September will contain a Classroom Vignette I was asked to write by the authors and got to work through the editing process with their editor. My piece for the American Reading Forum has been accepted, but needs a bit of revision. That should come out by January. God is good!

Now that amazing husband of mine on the other hand does not need to do any publishing for his job, yet he sure "upped me" as he was asked by a national quarry journal to write an article about his business. Not only are they printing the article, but guess who will be pictured on the front cover?! Amazing,eh?! The magazine is not out yet, but he's there, as cute as ever, wearing his jeans, hard hard and gorgeous smile on a full cover glossy front shot. (And he's so good looking I had to joke, "They're using you as the centerfold too, aren't they?! hee hee!)

This summer, I submitted two pieces (one dealing with the death of a student, the other with some of my dissertation research). Both were rejected. I’ve reworked and resubmitted both pieces to two other journals – perhaps better fits. We will see. I should know something by October. It is a long process. The third piece I’ve been working on this summer will be submitted by Friday and actually I will be submitting one more to yet another publication later on this week. When I met with my faculty mentor last week he was incredibly impressed with the work I’ve done over the summer. Additionally, I’ve received Human Subjects Review Board approval for a study I’m conducting in one of my classes this fall regarding a writing approach for middle schoolers and I have a couple other items of interest on my plate that I will be spending lots of time working on this fall and I fully intend to again catch up with friends and family too!

And for some really fun things: We have about 10 BGSU freshmen from the little Seneca East class of 2010 starting classes tomorrow!! I’ve emailed all of them welcoming them to campus and promising them free food when they want it. I can’t wait to hear how they are doing and I hope they will let me know if they need anything. I’ve promised not to ever invade their space or privacy. It’s been nice to hear back from many of them. I know they will all do very well!

This time of year (when Christi was diagnosed – September 2002, and when she died – September 2006) can be terribly, terribly hard so I continue to take stock of all of the good things in my life to help me get through it. When Christi was diagnosed, I felt like I was robbed of everything and that I would never be truly happy again. I’m not saying I don’t miss her terribly, wonder what she’s be like as a high school student today, wish I could have had more time with her and cry uncontrollably at times – I do; but, I am thankful I got to be her mom (what a gift!), thankful I was sitting beside her when she left this world and thankful I’ve had so many positives in life to help me through my darkest days. It’s almost like the years have helped dull my pain and I now can experience true joy, happiness, peace and love again. I am so blessed! Thank you, God!

SHAYLA FUNNY: (A MIDDLE SCHOOL MOMENT) When Shayla walked into the house on Friday after school she wasn’t carrying a thing. I inquired, “Where’s your bookbag?” She responded, “I didn’t have any homework.” Knowing very well her cell phone (her new life connection with her middle school girl friends calling and texting each other ) was in that bag so I inquired, “Where’s your cell phone?” Oh, I wish I would have had a video camera on her little face. What a hoot! It immediately fell as the fact that her social life was cut off for the weekend hit her. I’m willing to bet she will be more careful in the future.


At 26/8/10 3:05 PM, Blogger Sammie Ryan said...

I love those pictures of Christi...sooooo cute !
My love to you all.

Love Sam. (Dublin).


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