I have finished the year for STAR Torrey Academy. I still have some grading to do, but we had our last classes on Thursday and the banquet last night.

I was unsure what to expect from my first year teaching, but I have discovered that I love the occupation and hope to do much more of it in the future. Of course, the curriculum I have to work with helps significantly. This year I taught a class called “Inklings” that had a reading list of Tolkien, Lewis, Charles Williams, Sayers, and Sheldon VanAuken (who slips in the back door somehow).

If the great reading list wasn’t enough, I also had students who were bright-eyed and hard-working. It was phenomenal to spend an entire year with high school age students and have almost no discipline problems. Those few problems I had were resolved when Mr. Granath landed in the pool, fully clothed, at the LOTR party in Yorba Linda.

I will continue to teach in the program, but I will not be able to have all the same students that I have this year. At our end-of-the year banquet last night I said many difficult goodbyes to students that I will not have the joy of teaching next year.

A word to those students:

I hope and pray that you will be voyagers. There is a Voice above calling you to a new life, a life of learning and of exploration. It is a Voice calling you not to Life in spite of Death, but to Life through Death. There is a Voice that demands your allegiance and your obedience. It is none other than the Word who speaks out of Heaven, the Word spoken on Earth, who calls. In the words of the Poet, T.S. Eliot, “Not fare well, but fare forward, voyagers.” The joys of heaven are not for the slack of heart–they are not for those whose desires are for this world. And so, fare forward.

You will be missed and always be remembered as my first class of students. I love you, and thank you for your humbling words of encouragement this year. May you always be faithful to Christ our King.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

7 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for an amazing year, Mr. Anderson. As I’m looking back on it now, I can’t imagine having a better tutor than you, and I thank God that I was in your class.

    Mr. Granath deserved to land in the pool. He had it coming to him all year…

    Under the Mercy,
    Miss Koch

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  2. Thank you so much for all your teaching and encouragement!
    I’ll definitely miss you next year, but I thank you for all that you’ve done; you have definitely helped me to understand God better, and encouraged me on my journey with Him.

    ~Miss Mowery :}

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  3. What to say…. words fail me. I would try to say something really smart and “deep” but I am really deprived of sleep so I’m just going to blab on about how wonderful I think the class is and how wonderful I think Mr. A is and how wonderful I think cheesecake is and… well, see what happens when I’m sleep-deprived?!

    So basically, Mr. Anderson, you have taught me to *think*. I mean, analyze what’s happening in the world around me and, rather than shy away from it, go towards it and try to change it and, in doing so, grow towards the Kingdom. I’m still an “Enting” and have much to learn about the wide world of “Middle-earth”. However, the thirst for knowledge that you have instilled in me will hopefully drive me to step away from the “Shire” and journey to “Mordor” (of course passing through Lothlorien on the way, alas, you are already on your way West ;). I hope to have many years of thinking and living to come.

    Just remember, for you we need to get, 1) a “Captain of the Nerds” shirt, 2) a light-up Sting sword, 3) a bumper-sticker saying “Going to Mordor”.

    Finally, my last words: “In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory. Farewell!”
    –Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, p. 28

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  4. Well said, Mr. A! I look forward eagerly to a summer reading list, keeping my writing skills intact, and, at the beginning of the school year, having you as my teacher once again.

    Until next year,

    Mr. Croce

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  5. Wow, Nine months of Inklings has come to an end. All of the hard work and reading was worth it. Thanks Mr. Anderson for being our teacher as well as our friend. I wish the best of luck to you and Miss Mealman.

    Sincerely Cor M. Granath

    P.S. The Degen family pool is quite refreshing

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  7. Mr. Anderson-
    I am sorry again for being one of those “very few problems”. :0)
    Now, don’t go apologizing, we all know it’s true. I’m over it and have actually learned a lesson. ‘Don’t take on more than you can handle.’
    I thank you for being patient with me as I sorted through my senior year. Being the oldest Inkling had it’s ups and downs, but through it all we conquered. We conquered, Mr. Anderson!! Sorry I couldn’t stay after banquet, but hopefully we’ll meet sometime in the not so distant future, after all, I am Biola bound.
    In Our Lord Forever and Ever, Amen,
    Kristen Reinders

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