Transition and Healing

IMG_4466There is an ornament that says “Special Teacher” hanging on our Christmas tree. It was given to me by a family member several years ago, and it is significant–nearly all of our ornaments have a special meaning–because it celebrates my career as a teacher.

I started teaching in the fall of 2005 just after I graduated from college, and after ten years, it’s difficult for me to think of myself vocationally as anything other than a teacher. Teaching is a big part of my identity.

But all of that is about to change. Continue reading “Transition and Healing”

{Segue} Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet? That’s the question I keep asking myself. Are we home? Will we ever be settled? When will the transitioning end?

The End of Summer

After our wedding on June 29, Charles and I spent the next three weeks visiting with family in New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina, and New York. It was quite the road trip, and we were so blessed to spend time with our loved ones. The summer seemed to go by too fast though, and before we knew it, we were boarding the plane to fly to Taiwan. Though it was bittersweet as always (crying with Mom as Dad led us all in prayer at the airport), I was happy to be traveling with Charles this time. After about 30 hours of travel, groggy and jet-lagged, we unloaded our bags at the guest apartment at Morrison and attempted to rest for the night. Continue reading “{Segue} Are We There Yet?”

{Segue} The Limbo

When I was in 6th grade, I won a limbo contest while dressed as Cleopatra during our middle school Halloween dance. I hiked up my golden skirt, tipped back my snake-crowned head, and went as low as I could go. It would have been better only if I could have accomplished the feat in my youngest sister’s hot air balloon costume which. was. epic. (Bonus: Can you guess what the other Hatcher sis was dressed as?)

HalloweenI still glory in the memory of my victory, but sadly that 6th grade dance was the peak of my limbo prowess. Continue reading “{Segue} The Limbo”

{Segue} Building my R.A.F.T.

Simple raft (Mykola Swarnyk) / CC BY 3.0

Nearly four years ago as I was preparing to come to Taiwan, I attended Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) and learned, among many things, about the importance of building my RAFT.

RAFT is a nice little acronym that’s meant to help us remember the foundational elements of a healthy transition:

Reconciliation
Affirmation
Farewell
Think Ahead.

It’s a term that’s tossed around the Morrison community a lot, probably because we’ve all been through PFO and because we say goodbye so often. When someone is leaving Taiwan to head home to Canada or the U.S. or to travel on to new exciting places, you hear a question like, “How’s that RAFT-building going?” Over time, I’d forgotten the specific components of the acronym, but the meaning remained quite clear to me: RAFT = healthy transition. Continue reading “{Segue} Building my R.A.F.T.”