Baby, it's cold outside

^^That would be the sweet, festive way to describe today's 14° temperature.

But the Courtney and Clayton way of describing this glacial weather?

You'd be hard-pressed to find a classier, more refined couple than us.

Today is not only blustery, it's bittersweet. Tonight is the last class of the semester, the last class of my first foray into teaching. It's bittersweet, but mostly sweet (I'm not gonna lie). The past 8 weeks have been stressful and frustrating and I'm happy to leave those negative feelings behind. I wanted to learn something about myself during this experience, and I definitely did: I am not cut out for teaching.

Though I must admit, it really warmed my heart and stroked my ego to hear from my students that they wished all of their instructors were like me, but I think it has less to do with my performance in the classroom and more to do with my general relatability (and lenient grading system). As one of my students so bluntly put it, "I really like you because you're not old."

Another thing I learned about myself from teaching this class is that while I should never be your first choice when it comes to learning facts and concepts, I definitely have a knack for listening and encouragement. Public speaking scares me dramatically less than it used to and after having several come-to-Jesus talks with students after class, I'm starting to wonder if I missed my calling.

Teaching was initially a blow to my self-confidence and the moment I realized that I wasn't that great at it, I totally wanted to bail. But after sticking out the semester and finding my footing as an authority figure (I'm still in disbelief that I've gotten 17 people to do what I say for the past 2 months.), I actually feel much more assured of myself than I ever have been before. I know what I like and what I don't like. I know what I'm good at and what I'm not not so good at, and finding out that I'm not good at everything doesn't feel like a sucker punch to the gut anymore. I can only be me and if you don't like it, tough. You still have to turn in your homework.

In honor of our last day of class, I made a giant batch of puppy chow for my students. A few of them have truly inspired me, and on more than one occasion I've been brought to tears while grading their personal essays (partly because of horrible grammar issues and mostly because some of them have been through a lot, but already have the emotional maturity not to use it as an excuse to be total a$$holes). I'm really excited to see where some of these kids are headed and I definitely want to be that creepy lady that calls them in 5 years and asks what they're up to.
 What are you doing to stay warm today?