Monthly Archives: August 2021

SMSU First Day Jitters

We are extremely proud to say we are teachers. I don’t know about you, Dr. V., but every year since I have been a teacher, I have had the same dream, or should I say nightmare, right before school officially begins….I am not prepared for the first day of school. Kids are out of control. I slump in failure.

This syndrome is called “first day jitters.”

On Friday, August 20, 2021 at SMSU, we welcomed several brand new freshmen, who are dreaming of becoming teachers. Some Physical Education, some Special Education, some Secondary Education, some TESL Education, some Early Childhood Education, and some Elementary Education. All are entering their first year of college with dreams and aspirations of doing their best to become the best. All beginning with the same syndrome – that dreaded “first day jitters.”

We know these young adults come with excess anxiety and doubt and wonder and questions. The pandemic has caused extra stress for our new freshmen. It is our duty as their professors to help them overcome this fear and help them see the opportunities that await them.

Just like the brand new teacher candidates, most professors have a little “first day jitters” syndrome happening too. Each new school year brings its own worries and doubts and fears…

“Are we doing enough for our teacher candidates? Are we noticing if they need more than just content thrown their way? Are we getting to know them deeply? Are we listening to their stories? Are we training them to succeed in their future classrooms? Are we advising them correctly?” 

We have big hopes and big dreams to help each and every one of our new teacher candidates to succeed and become the best teachers they can be.

So, brand new freshmen teacher candidates, please know we have the same SMSU first day jitters as you. We get it. We are on your side. We are in this together. We are here for YOU.

We extend a BIG welcome to our freshmen teacher candidates. We can’t wait to see what your future holds for you. Be a bright and shining star for children. Start strong, remain strong, and finish strong. No pressure – but the world is counting on you, and you CAN do this!

Bring on the new school year…jitters and all. 🙌😊🤎💛🐴

Stay Calm & Welcome to SMSU!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.   

Love You, John Freese! ❤

John at Good Sam in 2013

Friday, March 26, 2021: I just saw John at the local pharmacy. I hadn’t seen him since fall of 2020 when we chatted from a distance for a bit while he was out for a slow stroll during his recovery from cancer surgery.

I told him it was good to see him and asked how he was doing.

“Not well,” he shared quietly.

“They tell me I only have a few more months to live. I’m in hospice care. I’ve stopped all treatment for my liver cancer. Some pain is starting to kick in now. When my liver shuts down that will be it.” he replied serenely. He appeared so calm, so strong in his attitude.

Tears burned in the corners of my eyes, and I questioned him, “you seem like you are doing okay with all of this?”

John whispered, “I’m at peace with it, Wendy. When God tells me it’s time, I’ll go with Him.”

Now my tears were sliding down my cheeks. What do you say to that? What do you do?

I pulled my mask down and sniffled, “I love you, John. Know I love you. My mom loved you!  Many people love you!”

He took a small step forward and leaned down to embrace me. He gave me a big squeeze, and when he tried to pull away I held on tight for just a little bit longer. I knew this was going to be my last time spent with this amazing man.

I love you, John Freese…

Today (8/10/21): I wrote the above words on March 26, 2021 after visiting with John at Synder Drug in Pipestone. It was the last time I saw him. Yesterday, Monday, August 9, 2021, God told John it was time and John went with Him.

John, thank you for blessing my mom by dancing with her while she was a resident at Good Sam. Thank you for dancing the waltz and polka with me while we both were visiting our loved ones at Good Sam. Thank you for being a dynamic teacher! You were a kindhearted man who gave to others in so many ways! Love you, John Freese.  

Lord…bless John and keep him

Make Your face shine upon him,

And be gracious to him.

Lord, lift up your countenance upon him,

And give John Peace.

John…God be with you till we meet again

By his counsels’ guide, uphold you

With his sheep securely fold you;

God be with you till we meet again.

Stay Calm & Love You, John Freese!
Profs Dr. Wendy Dr. V.