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for some reason i think my students remain eternal sophomores in high school. i know they have grown up, moved on with their lives, and are doing big and exciting things, but in my mind i guard them safe and sound in the confines of room 903 memories. when i hear of them traveling the world with the peace corps, serving missions for churches, graduating from college, competing in national and international sporting events, getting engaged then married, and even having babies, it takes me off guard for a couple of seconds, because, like i said, they will always be sophomores to me, but then i realize life moves time forward, and time makes life happen! and that’s cool. i love all my former students so much. at the end of the year i would always get emotional when i had to say goodbye to them. they just became so much a part of me during that time and we had so much fun learning and growing that saying goodbye to that season always made my heart hurt, for selfish reasons really: i just wanted to keep them close to me, a little bit longer. maybe that’s why i keep them in my head as sophomores, because they had such an impact in my life during that year of their life. when those “sophomores” contact me and want to meet at starbuck’s or for lunch or even just email or text to tell me their news, my face is plastered with a smile at the thought of seeing/hearing from one of them again, and celebrating in the news of their exciting lives.

sam is one of my sophomores:



she moved to orange county the summer before her sophomore year. as a veteran of lots of moving i know how tough it can be to pick up and start fresh especially as a high school student (i went to 3 different high schools in 4 years. count them…3. it’s hard!) i knew immediately how sam was feeling when i saw her outside my door at lunch on one of the first days of school: she hadn’t found her niche yet and needed a place to be until she did. we didn’t have lunch together for long, she is way to energetic, warm, caring, charismatic, and personable for that, but i enjoyed her company while we did.

she has found someone to have lunch with for the rest of her life:






i am protective of my sophomores, when they were in my class and when they graduate from it. for some reason i just feel that i still have some responsibility for their growth and success; it’s weird, i know, but it’s how i think and feel. i knew sam wouldn’t make a bad choice in choosing the man she would marry but i had to find out for myself that she was going to be happy and taken care of for the rest of her life. it didn’t take me long before i saw that adam was her niche.

she found it: her eternal niche.






i know he will be there when she is metaphorically waiting at the door, needing anything…and he’ll be the one she sits with and feels happy, safe, and comfortable with…forever:



and they love each other, so much. and their life is going to be rich and full and blessed:



it feels good to have a niche:


and to know that it isn’t going to change like it does so often when you are a sophomore. this niche is going to last a very long time. it’s a good one. i give it an a+.





sam, you are special to me! thank you for touching my life when you were a sophomore and for touching it again as an adult “sophomore”. i am so happy to know you and have you in my life!!

sam and adam, may you always find safety, happiness, laughter, and joy in your niche. much love and congratulations to both of you; your wedding and life are going to be beautiful!! thank you so much for this opportunity. love you, nuz