So much has happened in the past two weeks of living in this marvelous city! My mom, stepdad, and little brother helped move me out here. They help set-up a lot of my apartment. I was a little sad at first and really needed my apartment to feel like home before they left me here. I am so thankful for everything they did in those two days for me. When we arrived on Tuesday there were MTR graduates from this year and last year waiting to help move me into the apartment. This was just the beginning of a community and family that I cannot describe. My roommate Hanna and her parents arrived the afternoon my parents had left. I have to say she is a ball of fire. I could not ask for a better roommate to live with for the next year of Memphis Teacher Residency. She is so joyful, servant minded, hospitable, and a great encourager. We have had a lot of fun these past two weeks getting to know each other and having fun.
MTR started things off with a bang! We had a welcome dinner, Hoe Down, Orientation, and Lonaroo all within the first week of being in Memphis. Memphis things that MTR has taken the 2012 class of excellence to do: Civil Rights Museum, this was a phenomenal experience I learned so much about the rich history of Memphis and well words cannot describe the emotion felt during this experience. Stax Records Museum, this was a tour and video of the Stax Recording Museum we saw outfits from Tina and Ike Turner, the blue cadillac Issac Hayes drove, records and records from so many other Memphian artists during the 60's. This experience also was great for learning the culture of Memphis. So many talented people came out of Memphis. Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. Even if a person is not a huge Elvis fan this was a fun outting. Elvis started Rock-n-Roll and that revolutionized music. I had fun during all of these experiences and the awesome thing is that these are just beginnings to many more iconic places in Memphis. This city has so much to offer that it is mind blowing!
Family and community is so important for the spirit. My actual family I miss. My family is walking through a tough time right now. My little brother Connor is ten years old. He is so precious and whew really a great child. When we came out here his right side of his face was a little swollen so we thought he might have something wrong with one of his teeth. My mom took him to the dentist the day after they returned home. We found out that he has a tumor that is on his jaw. This is more complicated because he has a port-wine stain on the same side of his face. The blood vessels from the port-wine stain are feeding the tumor causing it to grow really fast. He has an appointment this Friday with a professor at the OU Dentistry College. Hopefully we will found out some good news and this will be taken care of soon. I know that my God is the ultimate Healer and He will take care of Connor. My other brother Cheyenne is listed to deploy anyday for Iraq as well. Please say a prayer for my brothers and family just so they will rely on God and know that He has it all under control. So with all of this my family and community here in Memphis are vital to me right now. I am so grateful for every person that is going through this program. Each person is so unique and they all really are where they should be. I cannot imagine our family with anyone else in it or with anyone missing from it. I am already falling in love with these people as my family.
Grad school has officially kicked off as well. We are in two courses right now that are four weeks long. Tomorrow I will be a fourth of the way finished with two grad classes. That is kind of ridiculous for me to think about. These classes do take a lot of time. I have never read so much in my life nor have I had to use so many out side sources for papers. I have mutiple papers in one course and in the other I have several quizes and projects in both. Needless to say it is becoming my life. I really enjoy the material being covered though and know it is all worth it. I am where God has called me and He is doing some big things here in Memphis!
I will leave you with some images from the past two weeks....
outfit from Ike and Tina
The Jungle Room
2012 Class of Excellence
MTR residents, graduates, and staff
Um... well Hanna and I in a 3 legged race and I bit the dust
Hanna and I made cake pops for our first day of grad school!