Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Decade Review

I saw this on a friends blog and loved the idea.  I've always been especially fond of the fact that a decade actually starts on the '#1.  Reason?  Cause that means I graduated in the turn of a Century!  Read on and find out where my life has taken me since then.

2001:  From Senior to Freshman
How many girls get to say their MOST FAVORITE NBA player of all time watched them play HS Basketball?  Not many.  But I do!  Jeff Hornascek (with whole family in tow) came to my final game as a Rabbit.  While trying to hide back tears of failure, I climbed the bleachers and asked for a photo. My girl friends and I all wore matchy underpants to graduation . . . cause that's what teenagers do.  I wore Leo's shakes on my clothes all summer long and loved every minute of it. In the fall my darling parents (and I believe Granny B came along as well) drove TWO cars full of my stuff up to USU to drop me off for school.

2002:  My soul-mate stole my name
I started writing for the Statesman, partly because my Leo's money ran out.  But mostly because I still wasn't sure if I wanted to major in Journalism, Psychology, or (the dreaded) Education.  By the end of my freshman year I quit fighting it and accepted what runs in my blood. English Teacher it would be.  After a year apart my old HS buddies wanted to reunite, so we decided to live together for the summer.  For some strange reason we picked Provo, UT as our destination.  That summer was a BLAST, it gave me back the social flare I'd been missing.  But I was glad to get back to USU.  BYU/UVSC life was not my cup of tea . . . at all.  Back at USU I was blessed with the best roommate ever.  Liz Hales was just what I needed.  She has social bravery I admire.  And there isn't a better listener in the whole wide world.  Hearts so kind are hard to find.  She's one of those people I can honestly say I would be a different person without.  

2003:  Red heads have more fun
I continued to love living with Liz.  We joined a basketball team up on campus.  And I'm pretty sure we downed a whole pizza after each game.  There's a lot of things I'd never had experienced if it weren't for her, and eating an entire pizza (by myself) (in one sitting) is one of them. We stuck around Logan for the summer.  That is an experience I think everyone should have.  I was a Buckle salesgirl by day and a Golden Corral waitress by night.  I ran on about 4 hours of sleep, so that I could be sure to get all my fun in. By the end of summer I'd fallen into a little romance, that turned into more "heartache" than it was worth.  But I wouldn't change the experience.  I needed that confusion in my life.  That confidence boost.  That excuse to return to USU for at least one more semester (which turned into two) before serving the Lord. The fall brought a new set of roommates.  And I was silly enough to think I had enough friends on campus, so I didn't need to bond with them right away.  But it didn't take long for me realize these girls would end up being the friendship I needed before Heavenly Father could send me on His errand. 

2004:  Can someone get me a map?
Instead of worrying about past relationships I went on dates with my roommates.  Seriously.  We did. And after one such date, I just knew, it was time to put in my papers.  Theses girls were way more supportive then any boy ever was.  They urged me to call my dad, he pulled some strings, and 24 hours later it was all done.  The next three months flew by.  We went on a Spring Break roadtrip to sunny southern Cali with some of our guy friends.  That week was more than a blast:  Disneyland, Price is Right, the Beach, Aggie games, and more more more.  My call came about a week later.  My family plays a guessing game, and it is safe to say no one guessed Singapore.  My mom was adamant I not tell them . . . so Phil had to whip out a map and start shouting out Asian countries.  I love that he and my parents drove all the way to Logan the day my call came in the mail.  Matt, Jon, and their wives lived in Logan, so we all got to be together that night . . . but I opened my call long before they got there.  Patience is not my virtue.  Before I entered the MTC Maci, Ali, Jen and I took a road trip to southern Cali.  We laughed like careless teens all over again. 

Mission life brought challenges that reaped much larger blessings.  Julie Weldon and Kuching, East Malaysia are the reasons my missionary timing had to be perfect.  I love that girl to the moon and back.  She truly was my sister. We biked rough jungle paths, dropped tears of sweat and blood, and spread rays of sunshine all over that city for six glorious months.  It was the hardest work I've ever done and the purest joy I've ever felt. 

2005:  The Mere Lion
The New Year brought a sad goodbye to Kuching.  In one transfer I went from one of the poorest branches in Asia to one of the wealthiest Wards in the world.  Singapore brought a new kind of work accompanied with new kinds of joy.  I was so blessed to work with God's children from all corners of the world.  I still can't believe I served for 9 months in one Ward.  Working in the office (and 4 different companionship's) helped break it up.  For my birthday I was given the best gift ever.  I'll never forget when President Larkins said "I'd love for you to finish your last six weeks here in the office," then he winked and smiled "but you deserve to end your mission where you want to."  Back to Malaysia I went.  For Christmas, I came home to two adorable new nephews.  All us Bassett's spent the holidays up in SLC together.  Being back in the "real world" was bizarre to say the least.

2006:  LoVe
One of the scariest experiences I've ever had was when I knelt in prayer and admitted I was ready.  "Heavenly Father, please help me find someone I can marry . . ."  I had truly grown up.  Just a few days after this prayer I met Ben.  About a month later Ben met me (he doesn't remember our first two or three conversations -- I gave up on him long before he finally asked me out).  We began dating midway through February.  First kissed in March.  He came home with me for Easter and the rest was history.  What can I say, my folks make a great first impression!  We married July 1st.  Ben was enrolled in summer classes so that we could graduate together at the end of the next year.  I worked 40 hours a week mowing lawns on campus and 25 hours a week selling clothes at the Buck. Our first apartment was tiny, even the word tiny doesn't do it justice.  That Fall I taught an entire novel to a class of 10th grade struggling readers and at night I tutored USU football players.  I knew it was my destiny.

2007:  Growing up is hard to do
I balanced The Buckle, tutoring, a new marriage and student teaching for the first few months of the year.  I loved my experience at Mountain Crest High in Hyrum, UT. The teacher(s) I worked with was fabulous and the girls I car pooled with were delightful.  The students tried me just the right amount, and loved me more than I deserved.  We celebrated our graduation and first year of marriage in style.  Neither of us worked a bone the summer of '07. Georgian Bay fishing, Niagra Falls sight seeing, Yellowstone backpacking, Grand Tetons gazing, and Great Basin caving:  granola life is good for our marriage. Amazingly enough, we stuffed all our belongings in (and on) our car and drove from UT to DC.  I quickly learned there is NO preparation for inner city teaching.  But the love I felt for those kids helped me keep moving.  My folks and Phil came to visit us and the PA Bassett's for Thanksgiving.  I've never felt such darkness in all my life as I did when I put my parents on that bus and hugged them goodbye. 

2008:  Recovery and Healing
I finished out my first year of crazy.  I guess the word crazy could apply to a lot of things here.  But I'm referring to Dunbar -- the place a teacher had urine thrown on him.  And the list goes on.  Summer was a much needed break.  My girlie girls came to play for a week.  First Liz came.  Then Ali, Maci, Heidi, Jen (and Marie was already living in VA).  They helped rejuvenate me for another year at Dunbar and a few more months of Psychiatry.  Back at school I had a GREAT start to a new year.  Then two weeks in the Assistant Principal decided I should teach a group of rough 9th graders who had already had two or three teachers come and go.  Big thanks to her!  As expected, the kids were awful for the first few months and class attendance ranged somewhere in the single digits. 

2009:  Gotta love DCPS
By Spring I was loving this group.  I took them to find Prom dresses, helped them set goals to keep their virginity, and was even asked to adopt one of their kids.  Wow!  What a year.  It ended with an outside company take over.  In which I was not invited to come back to Dunbar.  Made sense seems how this "company" never once saw me teach.  It's not like it would have been hard for them to observe me in action -- the school had no walls!  Luckily, they saw enough "hope" in me not to completely sever me from DCPS.  After lots of tears and self doubt, I determined to give myself a promotion.  Here enters the teacher's dream job.  Deal didn't even care Dunbar "let me go."  They gave me 30 minutes with a class of 7th graders and offered me the job the next day.  When I started in the Fall some of those kids said "Hey, you taught my class for a day last year.  I knew they'd hire you.  I wanted to be in your class."     

2010:  SIMPLY THE BEST!!!  (better than all the rest)
Snowmageddon offered a wonderful winter vacation for the hubs and I.  We ended this snowy honeymoon with the exciting news that (after more than a year of tests, medicines, and "trying") we were going to have a bundle of joy enter our family before the end of the year.  Knowing it might also be our last year in the area, we spent the whole Spring and Summer months living like tourists.  NYC, Shenandoah, Assateague, Delware, and more!  Ben graduated law school and I finished one last year as a teacher.  But none of that really mattered once our little 10 pound stinker arrived.  

The new decade brings lots of new adventures in very new places.  And I can't wait to see what happens.


Casie said...

Wow! It's so crazy how much happened to all of us '01 Rabbits in the past decade. I loved reading this post. I think it's so awesome all you hs gals have stayed in such great touch. Josh and I feel blessed to have clinged to the few keepers we have as well. :) And I love the story of Ben being an answer to your prayers. That's awesome.

Scott and Claudia said...

Loved your remembrances. You have had a very blessed life. I hope you realize just how blessed.
Love, Pa

Chelle said...

Oh, I freakin' love that picture! That was such a fantastic year. I loved it! I have to be honest, though- you've made me want to do one of these posts. Hope you don't mind. :)

Ee Chien Chua said...

Cool idea, and that's awesome! What a decade!

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