Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
These words by Robert Frost came to me today as I've been viewing the damage of the deadly tornadoes that have struck Oklahoma. I remember first hearing this poem in SE Hinton's "The Outsiders" when I was a teenager. I remember thinking how unfair that people were judged by their friends and how much money they have. Unfortunately I think a lot of that still remains in our school today... but that may be an article for another day. However, I have always loved this poem and somehow it has always brought a peaceful resolve for me, so I hope you enjoy it as well!
I'm not sure if we have any NAAE members or agriculture programs affected by these storms, but I do know that America is once again suffering from tragic events. My heart and prayers go out to people that I do not know and probably will never meet. I have experienced hurricane damages but can barely imagine what some people are dealing with right now. I know that we have Americans who have lost everything ? their homes, family members, businesses, schools... everything. It amazes me, though, the kindred human spirit and the sense that these communities will rebuild and people will work together to overcome this tragedy. I was feeling very discouraged earlier and did what I normally do (call me a nerd... that's ok!): I googled quotes about hope. I want to share one that really jumped out at me:
"Yesterday is but a dream, Tomorrow is only a vision. But today, well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope." ? Kalidasa
Now, many of us may already be, or are soon to be in "it's the end of school" mode!!! I am wrapping up with final welding projects, demonstrations, presentations and industry certifications. Whew! Unlike a lot of faculty on our campuses, for most of us in agricultural education, "summer" does not equate to "vacation" exactly. Now I hope each of you can take some time and enjoy a vacation (Florida is a great place to visit for beaches or Disney!!), but I know many of us will spend time at work. We plan conventions, conferences, retreats, fairs, weigh-ins, SAE visits, barn work days and more during the summer months. Although it's a different pace, some of us may even work harder in the summer with all the road trips and hoopla that we plan to squeeze into 60 days.
I hope many of you are making plans to attend your respective regional NAAE conference. I know state leaders have been diligently working to have successful regional conferences, and I am thankful for all this hard work and time. I am excited to visit states and regions I haven't seen before. As a person who can jam too many things into one summer, I understand the desire to attend as many conferences and meetings as possible. We constantly want to improve ourselves and our teaching; that's just the way we are. I am very excited to see how all of the CASE Institutes and summer trainings go.
Still, I do want to encourage you to take a little time for yourself this summer. Yesterday I was given a book entitled "Meditation for Women Who Do Too Much." Some people might take offense to that, but honestly I thought it was a very thoughtful idea. I hope to take some time and read through the entries this summer. Folks, sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Burnout is by definition what happens when you are burning the candle from all ends. I hope you will take some time to enjoy the "summer break." I look forward to meeting Region III and IV conference participants. Enjoy your time. Eat some ice cream and grill out! Have a wonderful summer!
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