Often, when I am in conversation with others, whether at church, some extra-curricular event, or perhaps an event like Discover Concordia Night, someone will ask “How’s the year going?” Since my life is heavily wrapped up in formal education, I often take a minute to reflect on the academic year, as opposed to the calendar year. This academic year in the Kaschinske household could possibly be summed up best as the “Year of the Freshman.”
Mason, our oldest child, has embarked this fall upon his freshman year at Concordia University in Wisconsin. He has gotten settled in with a fresh, new environment (living with a new roommate that’s not his younger brother), going to new classes, getting accustomed to new coaches and teammates on the football team, exploring new dining options, and many other new choices.
Landon, our youngest child, is navigating the waters of being a freshman at CLHS. He is also figuring out the new things in his life: new classes and class structure, new friends, new teammates, and yes, new dining options.
Even Rhaya, our daughter who is a junior here at Concordia, has a fresh new perspective as she begins to look at life after her four years of high school. So she is starting to more deeply explore college and career options.
My wife Amy, who is a registered nurse at Parkview, is exploring a new position where, I’m sure, she feels somewhat like a freshman at times. There are new procedures, new co-workers, and a new color of scrubs to wear.
This year, I often feel like a freshman, as I am teaching a new class called Analytical Algebra 2. Not only is this the first time that I have taught this class in 20-plus years of education, but this is the first year the class has even been offered in the State of Indiana, so it is definitely learning “on the fly.” In addition, because of new dual credit licensing requirements, I may soon be engaged in some additional graduate coursework beyond my master’s degree.
As my very dear friend and mentor Don Luepke is fond of saying, “Always a student.” But Don also encouraged me (and so many others) to be “Always Growing in Jesus.” Whatever new circumstances that come your way this day or this year, whether those make you feel like a freshman or not, I pray that the Lord is indeed using those opportunities to stretch you and shape you for His purposes, as we are all “Always Growing in Jesus”!