Posted by: L. E. Barnes | December 3, 2009

Home Stretch

The semester is nearly over. I had most of last week off because of the Thanksgiving holiday, and on Monday and Wednesday of this week I let my students come to the classroom if they wanted to and let me look over the drafts of their current essay. Only a few, however, took me up on the offer. Tomorrow they will be doing peer reviews in class. Next week they will be doing an in-class final essay. For the essay, they can choose from several topics based on readings from the textbook. As required by the English Department, that essay will account for 25% of their course grade. I respectfully disagree with that requirement, but alas, as a mere adjunct instructor I have no choice. Over the next week or so I will have quite a bit of grading to do. And to be completely honest, I’ll be relieved to get this semester behind me. I’m still getting adjusted to the ups and downs–and I’ve had more downs than ups so far–of teaching at a community college.

This past Sunday marked the beginning of Advent. Our parish sends out small booklets (called The Little Blue Book because of its plain blue cover) with devotional readings for each day of both Advent and the Christmas season. (In the Church’s liturgical calendar, Advent ends on Christmas Eve and Christmas season runs from Christmas day through Epiphany. That’s where the twelve days of Christmas come from.) Today’s reading shared about the Holy Childhood Association, a Catholic mission society for children founded in 1843 by French Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson. According to the HCA’s website, membership is open to students in grades K-8; members are asked to pray a Hail Mary each day for and make contributions to missionary endeavors. The HCA also raises funds by selling Christmas cards (prior to 2005, the organization sold Christmas seals). You can learn more about the HCA at

Thanksgiving was pleasant. My parents and I spent the day with friends and relatives in Tarboro. We had quite a feast (my thanks to those who prepared it!), though I kept my eating to a modest level, thank you very much. Frankly, I find that I just can’t put away the food like I could in my younger days. But that’s probably for the better.

May you all have a blessed Advent. And yes, please remember the reason for the season!


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