Happy New Year, friends!
I love January, because if we're getting snow days where I live, we'd be getting them this month. The only problem? Tomorrow's expected high is 70 degrees! I guess I won't be holding my breath . However, like so many of you, my job is not a "job", and I'm perfectly content to get up every morning and go to work.
Like most agriculture teachers in Middle Tennessee, my Januaries consist of training the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Parliamentary Procedure teams. I’ve always loved the thrill and skill of Parli Pro, but I’ve found that each year my future chapter officers and active members for all four years are rooted in the students who take time two (or three!) times a week for more than a month at least to recite the reason why we gather together regularly as members. Whether or not they will be competitive has yet to be seen, but winning a contest is not nearly as important when we prepare for this particular contest. I'm reminded of how important this competition is when I look at my Student Advisor, President and Vice President (in the photo below, back in 2009!). Three seniors, three officers, all of whom relate much of what they know about public speaking, discipline and teamwork back to those afternoons so many years ago. It's odd to think that in a few months they'll be gone!
We have begun discussing cats in the Small Animal Care classes. This being my first year with the class, I’m having fun finding fun and useful information to cover the standards. Unfortunately I’m not able to have animals at school as of yet, but I’m also hopeful that we will be able to foster cats in the future. Those with success in that endeavor are welcomed to give some advice!
I’m also updating the Middle Tennessee FFA webpage frequently, as I had the honor of becoming the Middle Tennessee Advisors Chairman this past fall. For those who haven’t checked it out yet, I HIGHLY recommend signing up with FFAnow.org. Unlimited pages, customizable, unlimited photo and document uploads, and even a texting feature! I’d love some pointers for anyone who sees areas for improvement on mine!
On a personal note, I will soon have to change my school stationary and door sign to a new last name – I’m engaged! My fiancé Shane proposed to me in the mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (if you’ve never been, it’s a great vacation spot!). All of my students have touched my heart with how much they care and are excited for me! My colors will involve certain, more muted versions of National Blue and Corn Gold, and there will more of my FFA family on the guest list than any other group!
What a view!
Soon-to-be Mr. & Mrs. Lumpkins
I often wondered if my choice of profession would make it difficult to start a family, so I'm glad to have found someone who understands the late nights, early mornings, and busy weekends of an agriculture teacher!
I even get to have one of my very best friends and fellow FFA advisors, Pam Farmer Walker, stand with me as a bridesmaid! Pam is a legend in Tennessee FFA: she was the first female State FFA President. More recently, she advised James Flatt, 2010-11 National Southern Region Vice President.
Me and Pam on an agriculture tour of the Mid-West in 2010
I'm heading out the door now to go home after staying late to discuss some things with my Parli Pro chairman, who has studied her behind off during Christmas Break. It's students like her that make it ok that we may not get any snow days anytime soon. Until the temps drop and I can post blogs in my pj's, we'll be chugging away at upcoming CDEs and preparing for National FFA Week. I hope to post soon on our plans and hear about great ideas from other fabulously talented FFA advisors out there.