I shared with my students the other day Joseph Smith's experience and told them that Joseph Smith felt so much darkness, then 'at that moment of great alarm' he saw a pillar of light over his head and God, the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. Sometimes in our lives we feel we are surrounded by darkness and want to give up hope, but we must know that the thicker the darkness, the closer the light...If we hold on just a little longer the light will appear. My favorite quote by Elder Holland is this:
“Fighting through darkness and despair and pleading for the light is what opened up this dispensation. It is what keeps it going, and it is what will keep you going.”
I went to a training for new employees this past week. It really helped me realize that I was not completely looking at the big picture and being the best teacher I could be. They mentioned that the top mission of BYU-I is to "Build testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ." It is sad that I actually did not already know the mission of the university I teach at. So, I started focusing on that more in my classes and making sure I share a spiritual thought at the start of each lesson. I have also started paying more attention to the students (especially those who are not doing what they should be doing) and maybe trying to help them do better in the class.
I honestly don't know how other teachers do it, because it seems overwhelming to me. I mean I have 130 students and am having a hard time making each of them feel important and included. Those who had car accidents, are sick, or are struggling otherwise...I feel inadequate and don't have time to do everything I want to do. I actually got so discouraged after the first week because I felt the students hated Math and I was failing as a teacher. That very day I was discouraged, I got an email from one of my students who said: "You really are a great teacher and I love how I can feel the spirit when I am learning."
That made my day!
Devotionals on campus are amazing (they have a talk every Tuesday afternoon). Actually, the first time I walked into the BYU Idaho center I felt I was in the conference center in SLC. It is so similar (not as big of course), but it looked and felt so much like it. When I was at BYU Provo, there were many students who did not go to the devotionals. Here, I feel most of them do, and they fill up this amazing auditorium. You would have about 10,000 people in that place. Here are some pictures:
It is really a special place. I'm so glad to be here. The devotional given by the new president was remarkable.
I have gotten to know some of the teachers at the Math department, we go out to lunch every Wednesday. I still don't feel I have friends here though except for those I knew from before.
One of my friends came over for my birthday and brought me a gift and a treat and then took me out for ice cream. That really meant so much to me because I was thinking I would have a sad lonely birthday.
On my birthday, I brought a treat to my students but didn't tell them why (I should have). I bought myself a cake and still have not touched it because I kept looking for someone to share it with and didn't find anyone =(
I went out to dinner for my birthday (alone) sadly. But was talking to my brother throughout dinner that I felt he went out to dinner with me (ha ha)
Thank you to all who posted on Facebook and wished me a happy Birthday. That meant a lot to me that you all were thinking of me.
I guess I will get to know people here as time goes by. Then again that is partly my fault as I am trying to keep a low profile (ha ha).
A person I don't know (well, I met her through one of my friends) invited me to dinner the other day. The food was amazing and it was fun to get to know people. It was so nice of her to invite me. I should try to go to FHE sometimes as well as they do fun things, but Mondays are usually hard for me as I come home from the university completely dead and in so much pain and I can't get up and do anything. My department head was so nice to try and get me a different office chair, but that did not help. Actually, my old chair was softer so I kept it. I need a couch, not an office chair really. I'll bring a pillow with me to work and see if that helps.