Hope Holding Hands with Joy
[Author: Jo McIntosh, Department of English Instructor]
Have you done the “my one word” challenge yet? I’ve done it with Bible studies, with my kids, and even with some of my cancer-lady friends. You can find “your word” like this: where do I want growth, and what is one word I can focus on for the next year to realize growth? Then pray.
I chose JOY a few years ago, and now I see it everywhere.
- Watching a student’s eyes light up learning new concepts… online
- Deep dives into poetry (alliteration makes you listen!)… online
- Showing off our lapdogs while discussing St. Augustine… online
- Learning about literature and journaling for medical or other professionals… online
- Students brave enough to offer opposing views in chat discussions… online
- Students asking questions we all have to look up… online
- Taking an afternoon drive with my kiddo…
My whole JOY list won’t fit!
Unexpected joy over the last few weeks appeared when I felt the most afraid and alone. Joy didn’t appear out of nowhere in those moments. I’ve been practicing finding joy like an athlete, so it’s becoming a muscle memory response. This summer, I’m at it again, creating a course entitled Finding Joy in Literatures. The premise? Joy holds hands with hope — looking toward a future that is better or equally as good as what exists in this moment.
Vocation & Joy
Before the break, one class of students decided that we should have a class t-shirt based on each of us sharing the purpose behind the fields we’ve chosen.
(Front) The Advocators! (Back) Words Matter Because People Matter
Our t-shirt design, like our career and vocation, is driven by wanting to help others as we’ve been helped. Our humanities students will become lawyers, doctors, executive-level managers, AI developers, psychologists, writers, and professors, so I know there is hope holding hands with joy in our futures.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)