JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Friend

It has become a reality  – when I see the packed boxes on her desk that my wonderful and dearest friend and co-worker is retiring.
The boxes on her desk are full of her personal items and she is indeed moving on to the next chapter of her life.
She has been careful with this information – her students are just now finding out– and it’s something I have just stuffed out there somewhere in never, never land—thinking hoping it might not happen.  

When I printed the invitations for her retirement party I had to deal with it for real.   Making her gift-- I began to deal  with it again, – but I kept putting off making the t-shirt quilt—because I just didn’t want to own up to it that our work relationship was coming to an end. 

We’ve taught together for 13 years – In the Spring of 2001 – as my previous co-worker retired, I casually prayed for whom God would send – (it seemed like a good thing to pray for) – over the years – I have seen time and again how HE was in the process of putting our lives together.  We’ve married our children off, cared for and buried  parents and shared a wealth of  information – that we probably wouldn’t and shouldn’t tell ANYONE– LOL.

We always said we would retire at the same time, buy a Winnebago and go on the road and have our own cooking show --“Two FACS (or did we say FAT??) Ladies”.   We’ve shared so many of our ideas and  that sometimes we can finish the other's sentence when we have a senior moment or lose our train of thought. We've been know to show up dressed alike with not planning ahead of time.

Marinelle makes coming to work fun – we always can find more things to laugh at. She has a work ethic that is second to none – often arriving very early, and can still be found at work at 5:30 or 6 or even later.
She is the teacher who always has time for the forgotten ones – the students who are invisible – those students who aren’t on anyones honor roll.
She has a laugh that rings through both classrooms and can become animated and dance for her students as she was having a great time with them.
Character has been a major theme of Marinelle’s teaching – starting a student chapter of Character Council in 2003.  She has worked to instill in her students a sense of integrity and honesty.    When it comes to true goodness – I would have to say Marinelle is truly a person with the purest heart.
Only kind words spoken in this classroom” is a phrase she ingrained in her students as she began her routine every year and followed through to make sure that they were respecting each other.

Marinelle has been instrumental in every Christmas having an Angel Tree for Owasso Resource to collect Christmas gifts for the less fortunate.
       Her students made Mother’s Day gift baskets for DVIS mothers

       The OHS chapter of Family, Careers, Community Leaders of    America (FCCLA) 

       She formed the OHS's Character Council – 

       Yearly Teacher Appreciation luncheons

        Pennies for Pasta - annual collection for Leukemia research

        Red Cross / OBT Blood drives

And Random Acts of Kindness which this year she implemented with each of her classes to give back to a particular cause of their choosing.  One class organized a school-wide Teddy Bear collection that enabled them to collect $900  and many bears which they were able to personally give to patients at the Children’s Hospital. 

After teaching for so many years she puts the same effort into carefully planning each week.  She could teach these lessons in her sleep – but she looks for ways to keep them fresh and current and is miles ahead of me technologically in understanding how it all our networks and connects.  

 Parenting and Child Development is one of her many accomplished areas and her love for little ones is contagious as she helps students recognize the stages of development and ways to ensure that children grow to be healthy and have stable family lives.

Preparing students for life in their career and family is something Marinelle has always done – There are thousands of adults out there now – with accomplished career skills because of her efforts.

She’s not really giving up the classroom – she’s got lots of good lessons left in her and I envision that in the years to come she’s going to continue teaching – maybe in a little different venue – but with her teacher’s heart – she’ll always be instilling the love of learning in others.

Marinelle is a person who tries to make life easier for me and those around her – she shared her resources with me to keep our department's equipment and supplies up to date.
But better than all of this,
I call her my dearest friend.  She has heard me cry about all sorts of issues and given me wise counsel and support. She helps me sort out myself when I feel frazzled and crazy.

Everyone needs a Marinelle in their life-- I am so glad she is in mine!

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