During the last two days of July and the first two days of August, Dr. Jim Barrett and I taught a class for the FHSU Transition to Teaching program. We helped to prepare 32 new teachers for their first days of school beginning in the next few days. It is a crash course in classroom management, lesson planning, active learning/questioning strategies, and legal issues in the classroom. What an exciting, and grueling 4 days for the instructors and the students. One evening, as some of the students were out and about in Hays, they came across a Sue Boldra sign and posted the picture on their Facebook pages for all their friends and family to see.
We had a wonderful group of new teachers and I am always rewarded by the fact that I had some small part in molding these individuals into valuable, responsible, motivated teachers for the students of Kansas.
August 3rd was spent visiting voters in Victoria. Senator Ralph Ostmeyer, Ron Adams (candidate for 3rd district county commissioner), and I walked several streets, knocking on doors, leaving information, and responding to people’s questions and comments. After a light lunch around 1:00 at the local Library, we parted company and I headed home. Husband Carl and I returned that evening and continued the march through Victoria. Lovely homes, beautiful yards – a community full of pride and Christian fellowship. I look forward to returning to Victoria, the home of the Cathedral of the Plains, in the next few weeks.
August 4th was an incredible day. The temperature was much cooler, the cloud cover gave us relief and there was always the glimmer of hope that it would actually rain. I started out introducing myself to the residents on the east side of 210th Avenue, the street that runs down the middle of Antonino. The old stone school house that is now a private residence is such an intriguing, delightful home. I was warmly welcomed by the residents with whom I spoke.
We left the town by way of Antonino Rd. and stopped at several farmsteads and homes along the way to Pfeifer. The Catholic Church in Pfeifer is an incredible work of art, a testament to the faith of the early settlers! We visited the homes and the people of the settlement, realizing that several of the residents are old friends and former students. The town is re-energizing with young families and children. The old grocery store/post office is now a private residence and the entire town is cradled in the shadow of the glorious church.
Driving north, then further east on Grants Villa Rd, we stopped to marvel at the well-kept, pristine farmstead established by George Grant, who is reported to have brought the first Polled Black Angus cattle to America. The home is an amazing historic site, evidence, again, of the ingenuity and fortitude of our ancestors.
As we continued east, then north along
Vincent Avenue, we stopped to pay homage to the parish of Vincent. The two-room school house that is now a private residence is another one of those old stone buildings that has found new life – my heart sings when I encounter these beautiful reclaimed structures.
Stopping again at homes along the route, we met several new people and were re-connected with several friends. We finally made it back to Victoria where we stopped at the Diner at the north end of Cathedral Avenue, close to the Interstate interchange, for a welcome respite and dinner.
I thoroughly enjoyed our day; every stop, every small town, many residents of rural Ellis County welcomed us as we handed out political brochures, visited about the drought, the weather, the beautiful country and the incredible opportunity that living in rural America offers us all. A day well-spent and blessed!