New Beginnings

So, I guess I took the summer off from blogging. It wasn’t permanent, though–I believe too much in this to let it go permanently. This summer has seen some big changes for me and my family. I’ll try to explain and update somewhat in this post:

Goodbye Sunset
Yes, it’s official. Most of you probably know this already, but school started at Sunset high school for the first time in six years…without me. The first day was especially hard (Mrs. Grimes and I had a sympathy party for each other on IM), and I miss teaching very much. Leaving Sunset and my teaching career behind (for a time) was a difficult decision to make, but I believe was the right one for my family. However, as my Acadec kids have already seen, I’m not that good at letting go–I can still be found hanging around Sunset from time to time, and I actually look forward to substitute teaching there a few times a month.

Hello Faithbridge
Amy and I have been members at Faithbridge Presbyterian Church for several years now, and this summer I accepted a full time position there as Director of Youth and Music. I’ve been an avid musician all my life, and six years ago, before I began teaching, I was a youth director in Tulsa. In many ways this, then, is a return to my roots. I get paid to play & plan music (how cool is that?) and I still get to work with the most interesting people in God’s creation–teenagers. Our youth group is small, but growing, and I even have one Acadec kid in the bunch. Our first Lock-in is scheduled for Friday, September 16th. It’s been many years since I pulled off a Lock-in, and I pray I still have the endurance (and patience).

Growing Boy
Grady is now walking tentatively accross the room, usually anywhere from five to ten steps at a time. He has six teeth, is not afraid to use them, and we suspect more on the way. He was baptized July 17th at our church; grandparents, aunts, and uncles from all around converged on our house for the occasion. He is growing quickly, but more than physical size, it’s amazing to watch his personality grow–he is very confident, curious, doesn’t like to be ignored, and now has a vocabulary of about ten words:

  1. Uh-oh. Yes it’s a word. I looked it up. And it was definitely his first [holds toy over edge of his high chair, prepares to drop, and loudly proclaims “uh-oh!”]
  2. Bye-Bye. Unfortunately, he usually says this one after you have left.
  3. That. Pronounced “dat.” While being held, he will point at every thing he sees, saying “dat, dat, dat” until you tell him what it is. Sometimes he points with both hands in opposite directions.
  4. Ball. Hmmm. Not sure what to think about this one. But he loves to play catch, throw, and roll the ball.
  5. Book. I’m proud and relieved this one made the top five. Reading to him every night seems to be paying off, as he has already developed favorites (Go Dog, Go, Star Wars, & Hop on Pop). I just wish it would have preceded “ball.”
  6. Hat. Grady often says this as he is removing mine from my head and dropping it on the floor. Lately he’s taken to putting various things on his head (washcloth, bib, diaper) and notifiying us that said item is a “hat.”
  7. Night-night. Unfortunately, he’s much better at saying this one than actually doing it. He takes after his night-owl mother.
  8. No-no. Grady actually sings this over and over again as he is in the process of doing things he isn’t supposed to.
  9. Window. Actually sounds more like “nindo” or “binbo.” His favorite place to hang out. Poor kid doesn’t get out much, I guess.
  10. Clock. Go figure. Not sure where this one came from, but not only can he say it, but if you say it, he’ll immediately look and point at the clock.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel I can include “mama” or “dada” in the list. He says both, but pretty indescriminately. It’s embarassing when we’re in a store and Grady points at some stranger and says loudly “Dada!” The other day he even called the refrigerator “dada.” Oh, well. I’m just happy he says “book.”

Crazy Locke Siblings
Amy and I were thrilled to get to spend a week in Austin with my brothers (Jeff & Joe) and sister (Emily). We went camping (in pouring rain) on the banks of Lake Travis while my mom got to hang out with her grandson. Jeff and Joe are both full time social workers, and Emily has just completed her pilot training for the US Air Force. While in Austin, Emily took me flying in a little two-person Cessna plane, and was brave enough to turn the controls over to big brother for taxiing down the runway, takeoff, and most of the actual flight. I let her land the plane (out of respect for both of our lives).

Blogs and Websites
By now you’ve noticed the new look. I’m not completely happy with it just yet, as I’m still trying to get the hang of the whole “content manager” style of managing a website. In the coming weeks I will start a new website and a new domain name (faithbridgeyouth.org) more geared toward my new job as a youth director. The blog, however, will remain identical on both sites, and I’ll still keep mrlocke.net up and running. I know the banner still says “classroom” and “Dallas ISD” but I don’t plan to change that. To those of you who were my students, I hope I will forever remain “Mr. Locke from Sunset High School,” if not in fact then at least in memory and in cyberspace. By the way, I’m still looking for someone to take over management of SunsetAP.net, as well as suggestions for things you want to see on mrlocke.net (i.e. old teaching resources, chat, student email, etc.).

This has been a long post–sorry–and yet it probably still doesn’t make up for a summer of silence. I’d love to hear your comments and see who’s still around. I’ve been spending a whole lot more time on instant messaging lately (as part of my new job–isn’t that cool?) so if you have AIM or YahooIM, then message me so I can add you to my “buddy” list. My handle is the same for AIM, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, and IRC: MstrLocke. My email is still teacher@mrlocke.net.

Here’s to a new school year, a fresh start, new beginnings for all. I wish you peace and God’s blessings. Keep Blogging (I will, too).


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