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Usually at the end of an experience that teaches you a lot, or at the end of one that’s tied to a lot of memories, I’d say, “Can’t believe it’s over!” Well, this time, I can.  And in no way do I mean that negatively.  I’ll try my best to elaborate…

I left home pretty much exactly one month ago, and in that month, I’ve experienced more than I ever have in such a short amount of time.  a) Months of training paid off as I biked from Williamsburg to Richmond, Va., and back.

b) Roadtripping with my mom means I got some quality mommy-daughter time, which hasn’t happened in that capacity in quite a while!

c) Packing for two months away from home got me to think about the material items I have vs. the items I (don’t) need and (shouldn’t) want.

d) Continuing a (relatively new) relationship long-distance means I’ve realized how important communication is, and  I’ve seen that communication is certainly a strongpoint in what we’ve got 🙂 … I think it’s also helped to clarify that there is a solid basis for my feelings, meaning my heart and mind are in the right place.  I’ve felt a whole new level of missing, too…

e) My legs have felt elevation like never before. Hills? I live on a pancake back home.  Legs, meet waffle.

Elevation map around LSU lakes – a typical run at home. Note the scale on the left…

Elevation map from Durham – a typical run for my summer. Note the scale on the left once again….

f) I’ve spent 108 instructional hours with 18 gifted high school students.  Patience practice at its best. It’s also led to an overwhelming addition to the ‘what do I want to do with my life’ cloud. While at the same time, it’s helped clarify some things I don’t want to do.

g) I’ve bonded with the staff quicker than at any other program.  Lots of new friends, and people and places I’m comfortable with.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll leave it at this: it comes down to dealing with a lot of emotions in a short time…and no breaks during which I can meditate on any of them.  The closest I get to that kind of time is church on Sundays – the main reason being that I believe everything happens for a reason thanks to what He’s promised us.  So I may not understand anything that’s happening or why I am here, but I don’t need to.  I’m content with knowing that as long as it’s happening for a specific purpose (which is is), I can roll with it.

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Thus…with all that’s been going on. I CAN believe tomorrow is the end of Term 1.  Next Thursday starts Term 2! More to come later on that one!

Now for a switch to some concrete things that have occurred in the last week. Last Saturday the dance was themed Ninjas vs. Pirates.  As my kids were taking their second test, I brainstormed for what costume apparel I could muster up.  That lasted two seconds, when the idea of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came into my head.  Brilliant? I thought so.  So I shared the idea at break with Carman and Katie….SOLD.  Absolute hit doesn’t even begin to describe the response we received from the students and the other staff members.  But that feeling of accomplishment was second to the fun we had because we were dressed like sewer-dwelling turtles. I needed no other motivation to dance and act a fool.  I had a blast, and even got some bruises on my hips.  Don’t worry, everything was kept TIP-propriate, I just decided it’d be a good idea to swim like a turtle on the concrete ground at one point.

Masks

Gearing up

Alpana and I

Leonardo never looked so good.

And they say that pirates have the most booty.

Katie, me, Julie, Carman and Alpana

Good times were had by all!  Wednesday night, Carman, Katie and I drove a group skating.  I’m used to two wheels, but managed to hold my own on eight as well!  Annd with Thursday came froyo (duh, it’s a tradition by now). We tried Sweet Frog this time…it’s still no Yogurt Land. Friday, today, brings the talent show.  The staff will be performing Thriller…this was Carman, Katie, Alpana and I’s doing. Think we’re earning some creativity points up here at Duke 😉

And. Saturday.  Airport duty in the AM to drop off the kiddies. Airport duty in the PM to pick up that Taylor Graham fella! Then I get three days of acting like a kid…not a care in the world but spending time playing and enjoying every second as it comes….until my mom calls me in for dinner. Ha, but really. The day Taylor leaves is when momma and papa Derbins make their appearance.  And they better be taking me to dinner…hint, hint!

Also, thanks to Liz Clausen for a great write-up on the LSU Honors site. I can honestly say I love my school and am so content there.  It’s done so, so much for me!  Check it out!

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Time’s just a man made thing, but we sure do let it grab a hold of us.

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