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All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Riddle of Strider, “Lord  of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”

As is tradition for me every #July20th, I’d like to post a quote of Shane Johnson’s preface to Volume 2 of the Star Wars Technical Journal in May 1994:

July 20. That date means little to anyone anymore, it seems. The day usually passes each year with the obligatory casual mention at the end of the evening newscast, but the average person on the street–even if that person is a dedicated fan of Star Wars or other science fiction–seldom remembers the vast significance of that summer day.

“At the time, it was said that the event of July 20 would forever be the crowning achievement of human science, a proof that nothing man set out to do would be impossible for him. It was said that every other date in history would be but a footnote by comparison.

“It was a simple thing, really. One man, bracing himself against a fragile, hollow aluminum ladder, turned a little to his left, reached out with one foot, and took a step.

“A small step–but at the same time, a giant leap.

“This July 20, please go outside on that summer evening. Listen to the rustle of the trees. Feel the warm, gentle breezes that only your home planet knows, and look up at a world that has never known them.

“Look up at the Moon.

“And remember, if only for a moment, that [45] years ago we were there.”

Just under two hours ago, I completed my first full school year as a full-time teacher.

I can’t overstate how extremely grateful I am to all of you out there—Family, long-time friends, and newer friends who I’ve come to know through social media—who have supported me as I searched for a teaching job and as I faced the challenges of this first full school year in my own classroom. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You and God Bless You all!

It’s hard for me to find the words on my own to adequately express my feelings at having made it through this very challenging first year. There are three things I’ve found, however, that convey what I’m feeling pretty well.

The first is a passage from The Bible:

“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”   —2 Timothy 4:7

The second is a quote from the May 1988 issue of the DC Comics comic book “Firestorm: The Nuclear Man,” in which Firestorm reflects on the events in his own life and in the world around him:

“I can’t claim that I understand perfectly who and what I am or what my world is or what my place in it should be, but I understand better than I did. I am more myself than I have ever been.”

The third is a piece of music which I’m sure you’re all familiar with. :-)

Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.
C.S. Lewis (via petitkatie)

After a very relaxing week at home in Pennsylvania for Spring Break, I’m heading back to Virginia today, to finish the last part of the school year. I’ve had a challenging, stressful time this year, and I’m gonna have a lot of hard work ahead of me these last two months. Having said that, I’ve come a long way since last September, and I’m going to see this through to the best of my ability. One final push before summer…Say a prayer for me, and wish me luck! :-)

Been listening to these two tracks from the Halo 3 soundtrack a lot these last few days…Excellent music, and I think that their track titles are very fitting, as well. :-)

Quick opinion from fellow #Marvel fans: My Dad & I have been watching the individual Avengers movies in preparation for going to see Winter Soldier. We just finished watching The Avengers, and I was wondering how important you figured it would be for him to see Iron Man 3 & Thor: The Dark World before we go see Winter Soldier. I’ve seen Iron Man 3 myself, but I haven’t seen Thor: The Dark World yet, and I’m also way behind on the Agents of Shield TV show (only made it about 3 episode in before I got sidetracked by work). Thoughts?

Even in the darkest moments, you can always find something that’ll make you smile.
Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Wow! I was just playing WoW on my Alliance destro warlock, & saw that someone in trade was selling the “Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion” for 4,000 gold. My warlock is a long way off from 90 and doing the green fire questline (and I know it’s not super tough to farm, just time consuming), but I was curious how reasonable a price that was, so I asked folks in my guild (CTR Nalak on Aerie Peak US) chat what they thought of the price. I got some varied opinions, and a minute later, someone else in the guild whispered me & asked if I’d bought the Tome yet. When I said no, he/she said that they had bought one for me off the AH for 3K gold! I tried to get them to take compensation for at least part of the cost (I’ve got a lot of gold on both my warlock and my pally main), but they refused, saying it was on them!

With everything you hear about how a lot of folks who play WoW can be rude & thoughtless, this is an awesome example of how very, very cool & helpful people can be, and why I’m very glad to have joined the CTR guild community!

My experience down here in Virginia has been—and continues to be—very challenging, frustrating, and lonely. Having said that, knowing that I have family & friends back home who are pulling for me, as well as online friends—some of whom I’ve met, and others I haven’t met yet—who are pulling for me, gives me a great deal of strength & comfort. God Bless you all, and thank you for having my back. :-)

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This is more entertaining to watch & listen to than it probably should be… :-)