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Published: November 24th 2010
Our campus seems very subdued today and quiet tonight. Our own whirlwind who blew in here last August just blew out on the wings of British Air. She is headed back to the USA much to the sorrow of every student, faculty member and visitor on campus. We had a very happy/sad party last evening to say goodbye to a most interesting young woman who came here to help teach English to our young students who are just beginning their theological education. None of us knew her before she arrived but within a day (or perhaps less) it was impossible NOT to know Jodi. With her happy smile, infectious laugh, winning personality and general joy-to-be-alive attitude plus her fantastically curly red hair it was impossible to miss this fresh breeze on campus. I don't think any of us ever saw her walk anywhere. She seemed always to be running either up the 47 steps from the lower campus where she taught to the dorm where she lived or through the Sarka Valley which is beside our campus. She jogged and laughed and played and worked. Whatever she was doing she did it with her whole being. To say she is
Citizens of 10 countries ... a real international group.
REALLY alive is to accurately describe Jodi. During weekends we never knew if she would be here or in Germany, off to Hungary, or any of many places that she managed to visit during her short time in the Czech Republic. She never needed anyone to 'hold her hand' as she seemed totally sure of herself whether venturing downtown for the first time on her own or hopping a train to another city or country.
But Jodi was not a loner even though she was perfectly content to do things on her own. She held evening tutoring sessions for any student who wanted extra help even though she had spent 3 hours on her feet teaching and more hours in planning 'just right' instruction for the next day. She had private Bible study times with students who wanted to spend more time in quiet discussion of Bible passages. She joined the group Bible study as well and made herself available to be with the students over and over. She was at the birthday parties and times of general fun and was always there if someone needed a serious talk as well. She was an important part of the IBTS
Last night was her final night on campus. One of the students begged her for a final tutoring session even though she really needed to be in her room packing her bags. Of course she said yes and showed up as promised. You know don't you that almost every person on campus was waiting to yell "Surprise" when she came in the living room of the student dorm? One of the fantastic bakers among our CAT students had made the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. Another had baked good cookies. These were served with hot tea while everyone sat and talked and said the final things they wanted to tell Jodi. Then we got quiet while one of the students she had worked with on a daily basis gave a short tribute. Finally in turn we all spoke words of love and affirmation to Jodi (who managed not to cry).
It was hard to see her climb into the car this morning and leave with Dianne and Shane who came to take her to the airport. I know my heart was heavy to have to say goodbye to someone who really impressed me and who
always made me feel happy.
I must also tell you that Jodi had never taught before this fall and yet I discovered within a few weeks that she had a fantastic gift as a teacher. She is able to see exactly what a student lacks and then to be able to know how and what to do to instruct that student or those students so they can move from NOT knowing to knowing. I would give a lot to be that wise a teacher. She told me when I questioned her that she has always been a 'big picture' person who looks at a situation and is able to see what is and what can be. I wish there were more young people like her to teach others. She says she doesn't want to be a teacher. But she IS a teacher. I wonder if there is any limit to what she can be. I think not. It will be fascinating to see where she goes and what she does with her life.
Thank you for being who you are Jodi. Thank you for the gift of yourself that you gave all of us here on campus. Goodbye
L and Jodi
L baked the out-of-this-world cake.
We will never forget you.
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