Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hellos and Goodbyes

To: Mrs. Jensen   From:  Mrs. Brott
At two o’clock tomorrow, the last locker will slam, and goodbyes will echo down the hallway.  I paint a picture in my head of summer pressing it’s face against my window screen, and can almost catch the smell of fresh cut grass.  The breeze whispers hello warm weather, unstructured days, Colorado vacations, and painting.  It breathes goodbye to grading projects, writing lesson plans and to-do lists that never end.   Yet,  between all the hellos and goodbyes, I’ll still be grateful for the nine months of students, colleagues and classes that enrich my life in so many ways.  So while hellos are the easiest to do, goodbyes rustle in a sense of closure and change that challenges.  
This week I said goodbye to my friend and colleague, Jacquie Jensen, who leaves for the mission field of Africa in the fall. Mrs. Jensen superbly handled 1st through 5th grade art for eleven years at Lake Center Christian School. Sharing an art room with three different art teachers is a dance for space, and Mrs. Jensen is one of the most organized and gracious people I know.  Since our class times would abut each other’s, I was often setting up for class while she was finishing hers. I couldn’t help but observe the respect and love her students showed her, as well as the pride they had in the quality of work they made.   Her bulletin board by the desk often sported scribbled notes and pictures in crayon from students expressing their appreciation for art as well as herself.  If I could add this note to the stacks of theirs, it would say: 
Dear Jacquie,  I couldn’t have asked for a more thoughtful and kind colleague. You have a way of looking at the right side of things and for the best in people that inspires me.  Godspeed on your journey to Africa, my friend.  While I’ll miss you, I know He has great things in store for you as you walk by faith! 
Now there will be two art teachers holding down the fort at LCCS.  Miss Reichenberger, currently our 6 - 8th grade art teacher, will take over Mrs. Jensen’s responsibilities.  I look forward to the promise of another year and a new dance.  

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