Posts Tagged ‘Lockney

20
Aug
09

Where circumstances find me: August 20, 2009

As Summer breathes his last, hot, dying breath, I see where I AM, and realize that I am long overdue for a reckoning with where I WAS but a short time ago.

Last May found me finishing up my tenth year at Lockney High School, home of the mighty fighting Longhorns of Lockney, Texas.  Great place to work.  Wonderful, blessed community.

And I was in the depths of a despondency of my own design.  It wasn’t where I was supposed to be any more.  And I was faced with a decision: leave the comfort, security, and familiarity I had grown into for the last 14 years of my life, OR stay and continue to spiral downward.

Believing that God had called me to do so, I chose to resign my position in late May.

Some would call what I and my family did “stepping out on faith,” and would use reverent tones in doing so, like we were saints.  In all honesty, we did what we have always done (to one degree or another): we put all trust for our future in the hands of an almighty, omnipotent God who has never yet proven us foolish for having done so.

And we waited.

I sent out multiple job applications in a variety of public and private fields.  And heard nothing.

And we waited.

I had a fantastic couple of interviews with McLean I.S.D., and remarked to my wife, “If they DON’T offer me this job, it HAS to be God.”  And they were silent, and evasive for weeks.

And we waited.

I had another fantastic interview at Caprock High School in Amarillo.  Again, I felt reasonably sure that THIS must be the perfect place.  And I never heard from them again.

And we waited.

One day saw me interviewing at Hedley I.S.D. in the morning, where they promptly offered me a job… on the spot.  They were hungry to fill a spot, and I could sense that.  I almost said YES.  That afternoon, I interviewed at Borger High School.  Having come from a job offer, I may have exuded a bit more confidence than any of my other interviews… I don’t think I did, but who really knows?  It was a good conversation — I met and spoke with principal Tony McCarthy, and his enthusiasm for the changes being wrought in the school and community of Borger, Texas, was very contagious.

And we waited.  A few days.

I was offered the job in Borger, and called to accept the following day.

We had roughly a month to sell our house, find and buy a new one, and pack/transport/unpack all our stuff before the school year began.

Then we saw God, who had watched US wait on him, begin to MOVE.

We listed our house the next Monday, and sold it in two days…

We shopped houses in Borger on Friday, and made an offer on Saturday… which was accepted, after a few negotiations, in a few days.

We packed up our house, and closed on it in a further two and a half weeks.

Now, we sit on the eve of closing on our new house in Borger, and four days before classes begin at the high school.  I’m teaching IPC (Integrated Physics and Chemistry,) a course new to me, and a challenge that I eagerly look to meeting.  I am in a room which is (to put it kindly) unfinished, but which reeks of potential.  I have a list of roughly 110 students who I will be meeting for the first time soon (and many of their parents in just about half an hour.)

And we have the birth of our new son, Samuel Journey, to look forward to on the 2nd of October.

Ask me whether I prefer the calm or the storm, and I’ll likely point to the Captain of our ship, who is steadfast in either, and still hasn’t let us down.

22
Jun
09

“I’m not dead yet!”

loser

I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while now, and for those (confused) few of you who actually follow this, I thought I’d update you on a few personal news bits as an explanation.

After teaching at Lockney High School for 10 years, I resigned my position there in late May of this year.  It was NOT due to a lack of job satisfaction, or community drama, or a VERY challenging group of kids I had this year (but still, yikes!).  It was a move that I felt led by God to make, impressions of which I actually began to receive about three years ago.

And the funny thing is, even in the face of uncertain economic times and personal/family changes, I have an unbelievable peace about it.  It would have been WRONG, somehow, to continue to teach there after this year.

I wish the community of Lockney nothing but the best in the coming years as they rebuild the high school building and continue the business of getting back to “normal.”  I love the town, the school, and the kids; and they will always have a special place in my heart and memories.

I have devoted the last month to actively trying to track down the job that God has picked out for me.  I’ve applied at several local (and international) laboratories devoted to food-testing, medical research, etc., as well as several schools in the Amarillo and Plainview areas.

I’ve had two interviews with McLean ISD, the last of which was two weeks ago, and both of which (I thought) went VERY well.

I had a screening interview with Amarillo ISD a week and a half ago, and am scheduled for an interview at Caprock High School this Friday.

I continue to seek out opportunities both in and out of education, and am trying to send off at least three applications per week, whether they think they want me or not.  (One for my Alma Mater — River Road ISD — goes out tomorrow.)

spanksOn the family front, we learned a couple of weeks ago that our 4th child will be a masculine child, tentatively named Samuel, and still due sometime in early October.  This news was met with much enthusiasm by eldest brother John, went in one ear of brother Reid before promptly exiting the other ear, and was the target of vigorous raspberries from 15-month old sister Sadie.

John has been into the doctor(s) three times in the last two months for his badly infected left ear, the most recent of which was today.  He is scheduled for a follow-up visit to discuss more invasive options in two weeks time.

We enjoyed a not-quite-a-week-long visit from the wife’s Mom, sister, and two nieces.  It was very hard to say goodbye.  I’m looking into sending applications to schools in Central Louisiana, and sniffing for other opportunities that direction.

Relax, Mom.  I also applied for a job in Minneapolis.  It doesn’t mean that’s where we’re GOING, geez…

Anyway, I probably won’t update here unless some drastically good news concerning a job, etc., comes down the pipe.  In the meantime, feel free to keep track of my more mundane daily info-bits at my Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/johnseeking

See you on the flipside,

— JC

11
Feb
09

Plainview, Texas – “You’ll go NUTS over us!”

Why is it that when I find myself (almost) the subject of notoriety, it’s always something that’s cast in such a rotten light?

First it was the Lockney ISD mandatory student drug testing thing.  The resulting lawsuit and media hoopla (we even merited a PBS documentary — no foolin’) overshadowed an otherwise pleasant first year of teaching, waaaaaay back in 1999-2000.

Last month, said school burned down, the alleged results of alleged arsonists with alleged teen angst that allegedly got WAY out of hand.   (For the record, I love both of the alleged girls dearly… and I wish I could express to both of them how much I and others are hurting for them.  I hope I allegedly get to do so in the alleged future.)

And now our local peanut plant has put my town in the national spotlight, because YES it’s owned by the same idiots who own the Blakeley, Georgia plant that has been at the root of (so far) over 600 salmonella poisonings and 8 deaths, and YES it hasn’t been inspected by health inspectors since it opened about 5 years ago, and YES an independent test confirmed the presence of the bacterium here too…

But come ON, folks… let’s not drown in all this negative press.  I think the hometown of Jimmy Dean and Jim Clark deserves a better legacy than THIS one.  Let’s pull out the big guns.  Let’s ignite the passions and imaginations of Hometown America and the entire free world.

I’m all for an aggressive bumper sticker campaign.

Maybe it could say something like, “PLAINVIEW:  It Could Be WORSE — You COULD Be Living In Blakeley, Georgia”

I’m open to more bumper sticker suggestions in the comment section.  Go nuts.




The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
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