Writing prompts, reading groups, pumpkin pie, passing my third degree black belt test, an impromptu round of Maryland My Maryland, supportive families where I teach, lunch ladies, having doctors who know what they're doing, watching students grow up all the sudden, not being able to hold a straight face while I'm teaching at times, travel teams, Grammar City Limits, baseball games of all levels, football games of all levels, college basketball games, the Cincinnati Reds, kids who do their best to antagonize me by wearing their IU, Cubs, or Cardinals gear; Mark Twain, To Kill a Mockingbird, receiving good news about the kids that I tutor, helping people, C.S. Lewis, Harry Potter, Benjamin Franklin, Qdoba, hoodies, baseball cards, Sparky Anderson, Roberto Clemente, artwork, fellow Boilermakers, helpful neighbors, overpacked schedules that beat the alternative, a grateful class, sparring, watching karate students promote and getting to tie their new belts on them, kids who blow stories out of proportion, hot showers, welcome e-mails that somehow show up just in time, Abraham Lincoln, holidays, days off, days on, watching a kid finally "get it", new beginnings, good endings, tough but needed endings, my job, my house, first downs, hipsters, air soft wars, the military, people who teach or coach anything for the greater good, feeling like I've earned my night's sleep every night, crime novels, Dan Gutman, notebooks, tennis shoes and basketball shorts, stormy nights made for reading, time on the beach made for reading, airports, Peyton Manning, the Colts, safe travels, friendly custodians, flexible schedules, the pure joy that comes from my vocation, well-meaning bumblers, people who can smile at mean people and disarm them, librarians, karate tournaments, Mister Rogers, when the kids say, "Don't stop reading! One more chapter!", veterans, visits from old students and families, Mrs. Stemnock, Mr. Vahle, and Mrs. Jackson; Dr. Haledjian, Pearl Jam, hearing my class sing Here I Go Again On My Own every Friday, clean-up days, hand sanitizer, scratchy voices, documentaries, day planners, Latin and Greek roots, kids who fidget...the fact that I could go on for about an hour and not run out of things to type.
Hope every one of you has as many reasons to be thankful as I do.
Have a great Thanksgiving!