Some of you already saw this picture on Facebook. I posted it with the caption below.

 

Status Photo / Video Life Event Friends Shirley Showalter 11 mins · Just moved from #1(Minnesota) to #32 (Virginia) but spent six years in #2 (Michigan) and 28 years in #16 (Indiana). Rankings seem about right. What do you think? Thanks, Susan Blackwell Ramsey, for the post. Every State, Ranked by How Miserable Its Winters Are Somehow Alaska isn't No. 1. thrillist.com|By Kevin Alexander and Matt Lynch Like CommentShare Comments Shirley Showalter Shirley Showalter Jessica Coblentz, Brendan McInerny, enjoy your famous winter! Like · Reply · 1 · 11 mins Jessica Coblentz Jessica Coblentz ???? Like · Reply · 9 mins Shirley Showalter Write a reply... Shirley Showalter Write a comment... Henry Hershey shared a video to your Timeline. 10 hrs · Familiar story, well told. -1:42 2,339,753 Views I am a Woman of God added a new video. December 20, 2016 at 9:13pm · I never knew the founder of Hershey went through so many trials and hardships! His success will motivate you to never give up! Like CommentShare 1 Shirley Showalter Comments Shirley Showalter Shirley Showalter The part they leave out is sadder. Lost the wife he cherished. And was broken-hearted that workers participated in a strike. He felt he had given his life for them. Like · Reply · 1 hr Shirley Showalter Shirley Showalter https://en.wikipedia.org/.../Pennsylvania_chocolate... Pennsylvania chocolate workers' strike, 1937 - Wikipedia Hershey, Pennsylvania witnessed a six-day sit-down strike of workers at the Hershey Chocolate Corporation in 1937. The strike ended in violence, as dairy workers and loyal Hershey employees stormed the factory to force out strikers. Eventually, Hershey Corporation workers signed an agreement with th... en.wikipedia.org Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 56 mins Shirley Showalter Write a reply... Shirley Showalter Write a comment... Shirley Showalter updated her cover photo. 23 hrs · Replacing last year's Christmas picture with this year's. Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people standing, tree, beard, sky, outdoor and nature Like CommentShare 101 Walter Schmucker, Roman J. Miller and 99 others Comments View 3 more comments Marsha Bennett Marsha Bennett y Like · Reply · 20 hrs Kimberlee Williams Urbon Kimberlee Williams Urbon Nice pic of your beautiful family, Shirley. Like · Reply · 19 hrs Ursula Green Ursula Green Beautiful family. Blessings ! Like · Reply · 16 hrs Christopher Meesaalu Christopher Meesaalu Beautiful photograph of beautiful people. Like · Reply · 16 hrs Shirley Showalter Write a comment... Shirley Showalter with Owen Showalter and Julia Showalter in Harrisonburg, Virginia. January 2 at 10:28am · Learning to read. From primary sources. Forget the primer.

Learning to read. From primary sources. Forget the primer.

Owen, age 5 and 3/4, as he likes to say, has lost two baby teeth already and has three wiggly incisors getting ready for the tooth fairy.

He’s in kindergarten, where, these days, children learn the connection between letters and sounds.

So, he can sound out lots of words and recognizes many more from sight.

No one is coaxing him. He just enjoys the thrill of discovery.

Like millions of other children over the last century, Owen (and Julia too, at age 4) enjoys “reading” the colorful comic pages.

They are learning with the help of teachers and parents.

They have four grandparents, and all of us are providing lap learning.

As a lifelong learner and teacher, I am fascinated by the connection between youth and age.

I first wrote about this when serving as Owen’s “granny nanny.”

On Sunday, Stuart and I said good-bye to Owen and Julia after a delightful 5-day sleepover at our house.

Next week, I will be teaching a class at Eastern Mennonite University, my alma mater, located one mile away.

The comic pages from last Sunday and the draft syllabus for next week are co-mingling in front of me.

The topic for the class?

Honrs 401A Honors Worldview Seminar

This class is a capstone class required of students in the honors program. It is the “bookend” course that most students take in their senior year and picks up on the question they first encountered in their first year:

“Why do you believe what you believe?”

In the class I teach, the focus will be on vocation.

“What is your calling and how will you take it into a rapidly changing world?”

If you’ve been following the theme of Jubilación here, you know that I’m excited about the idea that vocation is seeded at birth and continues past jobs and careers into the elder stages of life.

I’m hoping that my bright, accomplished honors students will be or become as excited about this idea as I am.

I am holding them prayerfully in my thoughts as I design the syllabus, carefully placing structure around our time but also leaving space for students to bring their most important questions into the class.

The threshold they are about to cross out of college into the larger world comes during a turbulent time.

All the more reason to feel confident about a purpose larger than self.

Beyond this class, I look forward to again becoming a “grannynanny” starting next fall.

This time Stuart and I will live in Pittsburgh, close to Kate and Nik and a little one expected in June.

I feel very blessed to continue following my vocation to teach and to learn. And to continue to do both at the same time all my life!

I learned from 4- and 5-year-olds last week.

Next week I’ll be meeting my 22-year-old teachers and I’ll be sharing the books, blogs, talks, films, etc. that I’ve been reading in the last two years on the subject of vocation. What could be better?

What are you learning and loving and looking forward to in this new year?

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