Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mixed Feelings

I’m experiencing a bit of mixed emotion today. 

The students are so excited to go home for the holidays! Many of them have been away from home for about five months. They’re anxious to see their moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends and pets. They long to eat some home-cooking and sleep in their own beds. Christmas presents are waiting for them under a tree. It’s difficult for them to be here taking final exams when so much enjoyment is ahead of them - just hours or days away.  The energy level in the school hallways is intense! Anticipation, impatience, nervousness, excitement… it’s all there.

I can’t help but be excited for them! I’m waiting for my own college student to arrive home this weekend, and I know how eager he is to finish his last exam, pack and jump in the car to see his family. 

But I also feel a smidgeon of melancholy.

The hallways are too quiet without the chatter, the happy shouts and, sometimes, the grumbling of the students.

I’ll miss Crystal’s big grins.

I’ll miss Daniela’s hugs.

I’ll miss Josh teasing me about breaking my guitar.

I’ll miss Katy running away when she sees my camera.

I’ll miss David’s music.

I’ll miss the other 43 students, each for different reasons.

And then when the grading is done, the teachers will leave on break. What will I do without their fun emails filled with stories about the students, their notes of encouragement, and – I’m sure you’ve noticed by now – the best bunch of smiles ever seen on a group of teachers?

My little corner of the campus will feel slightly lonely for the next month. Blogs and posts will be considerably more sporadic … unless you want to read about my attempts to organize five years’ worth of files... hmmmm???

I didn’t think so.

Enjoy your holidays! I pray you each have a blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with hope, joy and peace.

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Shepherds College Christmas

The Christmas season at Shepherds College is just plain fun.

Volunteers arrive on campus to decorate the lobbies in the main buildings,

extra packages from home get delivered to the mail room, 

Residential Life staff help the students decorate their living areas,

the Horticulture students create beautiful floral arrangements in greens, reds, silvers and golds, 

and the Culinary Arts students bake up a storm and pass out the goodies to staff. 

The students design Christmas cards

take part in special church services, 

enjoy Christmas concerts, 

attend tree lighting ceremonies, 

and serve food at the staff Christmas party. Wow!

And if that isn’t enough, there are the parties for the students …

Lori Konopasek just hosted a White Elephant party at her home for the second year students in her advising group. They watched a movie, ate pizza, drank hot chocolate, enjoyed ice cream sundaes, and then participated in a crazy gift exchange.

Mrs. Konopasek and Miss Houk purchased all the gifts and attached a bag of candy to each one. 

Dallas opened a visor, pink slippers and perfume.

Katy “stole” fashion sunglasses from Miranda.

Lindsay “stole” flamingo and Christmas socks from Christian.

In the end, all the students exchanged with each other so everyone received something they wanted to keep.

While we have a great time celebrating on campus during the Christmas season, we make sure the students do not forget the reason behind the festivities – we are preparing our hearts and our homes to celebrate the birth of our King, the only begotten Son of the Father, a baby who one day would become the Savior to all who place their faith in Him.
Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teacher Tuesday: With Compassion

Written by Mrs. Cyr and the students in New Testament Letters

In New Testament Letters, students have been studying the letters of the Apostle Paul.  There are a number of reoccurring themes in his books – Some include unity, living as Christ, humility, kindness, helping those in need, reaching out to unbelievers, and compassion.

As a practical, hands-on project, students selected projects from Compassion International’s Christmas Catalogue.  This “catalogue” has a number of projects to support people around the world who are in need. Third year students selected gifts based on the amount they gave.  Altogether, they gave $69!  

They then challenged first and second year students to also show compassion and the love of Christ.  They selected a project for the student body to participate in.  The project they chose was to teach an impoverished mother to read.  The total cost of this project is $22. Altogether, first and second year students raised $21.41. As an added incentive, a group of staff members said they would match what students gave.  Third year students presented it in ROTC and collected money two weeks later.  

Altogether, students raised $90.41.  Staff donated an additional $130.  We will be donating over $220 to Compassion International!  Praise God! 
What is Compassion International? written by Sierra, Zoe, and Amanda

Compassion International is a world-wide organization that is organized by local leaders, pastors, churches, and different groups.  It was founded during the Korean War by Everett Swanson.  It started in Korea, but now it is Compassion International and it sponsors over 1 million children in the child sponsorship program. See for more details.  


Girls – what projects did you choose?  Why?  

  •      Give a Christmas gift to a mom and her baby – so she has something to open on Christmas
  •       Protect a child from parasites – to protect them from getting sick
  •      Provide garden seeds for a family in Africa – to provide food from a garden
  •      Feed a baby and mother – so we can save a life 


Boys – What projects did you choose?  Why?

  •   Garden seeds – they grow and provide food
  •  Teach an impoverished mother to read and write – to help her get an education
  •   Protect a child from parasites – to protect and support kids 

What did you learn by doing this project?  


             "I can make a difference in someone’s life." ~ Laurel



·                                                            "I can bring joy to others." ~ Samuel

         "I learned about Compassion International." ~ Zoe


             "I learned that Jesus was evident in this ministry." ~ Sean

      " It feels good to help others in need." ~ Kelsie

       "One person can make a difference." ~ Sierra

How does this relate to New Testament Letters? 

              "God helps everyone, therefore we are to help others." ~ Sierra



         "Paul was an example." ~ Kelsie 


                                                             "Paul said to help others." ~ Daniel 

"Paul tells us to give wholeheartedly." ~ Tess 

 "We worked in peace with others." ~ Sean 

How do you hope the child on the receiving end will benefit from your gift?  


                                                   "To learn about God." ~ Amanda 

       "They will know there are people who care." ~ Sierra

       "They will receive a better education." ~ Kelsie

·           "They will learn to give back." ~ Samuel

Would you encourage others to do something like this?  answered by Laurel, Kelsie, and Sierra

Yes, because you can help those in need, help those who don’t have much, and keep people from dying by providing food and medicine.

How did his project "count others as more valuable than yourself?”answered by Zoe

          We can learn to be content with what you have rather than focus on what you don’t. We donated money, rather than keeping it for ourselves.


Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at