Yesterday in my Academic Writing Class, I learned that I was teaching the mother of a student that I had in 2014. She is returning to school while working full-time. I feel like I have come full circle. Her oldest son is currently working for the New York Times as a sports writer. So, I found this article remembering the past and our store being filmed by A & E: the Fung Brothers. The original was posted on Edarabia:  Between Classes.  

Well, this week was a return to school. There were many familiar faces of students who took my English 121 class and then followed me to English 122. There were also familiar faces from the Bridge Program of those students who followed me to English 121. So I have some Arabic speakers, Turkish speakers, and even a student from Cambodia. I am excited about this.

Each semester I become more familiar with what to expect and so when presenting my syllabus, I become a little bit more practiced about what to focus on and a lot less nervous the night before. This time, the night before class began, I slept very well. I may have been tired from making cupcakes the day before. Mike is still subbing in the school district several days a week. He is enjoying it and finding his niche with teaching history, he particularly enjoys working with 5th grade….he had them actively participating by mimicking the events of the Civil War and they enjoyed it immensely. The intern who was in the class that day called the Principal in because she had never seen that 5th grade class so attentive to a lesson. That was good to hear.

So, I am following many of the same lesson plans with the same readings and writing assignments as last semester so I begin to get a familiarity and comfort-ability with the material. I am finding what I want to do and enjoying the routine yet the quirkiness and newness of each class. Each semester is different. Our store still continues. I wanted to share a piece of good news. In Feb., we will be filmed by A & E ….as we understand it is about foods from Florida and they want to film us making “Seedless watermelon” cupcake. That was very exciting news!! It could be a game changer for our small business.

Over the Christmas break, I revised my syllabus, some lesson plans and even submitted a short story to an agent in Sarasota, Florida. I have rewritten the short story several times and felt motivated to turn it in again. Mostly because our business was very slow at times over Christmas and my husband, Michael is almost finished with a book he is going to submit. His writing is more action packed, military suspense and the only thing I will share with you is that he wrote a scene using our store Cupcake Cache and customers visiting us from the iconic hot dog place “Mels” across the street which is a well known landmark next to Busch Gardens. His determination and achievement motivated me to keep rewriting and turn it in. We will see what happens. Everyone needs a good role model. I wish for all the freshman students at University, they will keep this in mind and find out what motivates them.

So, I continue with my classes at Saint Leo. It is a good schedule: MWF mornings and by early afternoon, I am finished and ready to come home. I even have a family of Arabic speakers who have taken my classes from Bridge to English 121. It will be interesting for me to see how they do and if the daughter is as astute a student as her brother was. I wish everyone a great semester and you will be hearing more from me soon. The only thing I want to point out is that some of the students seem older more cynical than when I was 19 years old. I ask my 122 class to sign a contract acknowledging they have read the syllabus and agree to its terms. One student cynically asks me What if I refuse to sign? No one has asked me that before. I pause and tell him, I will take off points. It sounds kind of lame. He is also the student who states cynically “Everything is about business” when we discuss how good writing skills can help us somewhere down the road. The students seem more world weary than I remember my friends and I being. We were all about the experience: away from home in a new place, new ideas, different cultures, exciting times. I hope they don’t forget to enjoy the experience.

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