I'm not a big fan of GIFs (as you can see by the complete lack of them on my blog). Something about the perpetual repetition makes me uneasy. But sometimes there are moments in life that I wish I could turn into a GIF. Like when P laughs so hard that he snorts or when J hugs me with every little piece of energy in his body. (He is the world's best snuggler. Really and truly.) Lately, P has taken to jump scaring me, and although I'm pretty sure one of these days I'm going to pass out and/or have a heart attack, I'm sure the look on my face would make a very entertaining GIF. Not that I would want that circulating the internet.
Hm. I'm suddenly worried about my future on social media once my child has a phone.
Yesterday I experienced a total GIF-worthy moment. I work at a community college helping students with disabilities navigate the world of higher education. Part of my job is to administer entrance exams that the students must pass in order to begin their program. If they don't pass, they are required to take non-credit courses in either math or English (or both) until they can prove competency. Many of my students are older and have spent much of their lives struggling with math or English (or both) and the tests create a lot of anxiety for them. They are often placed in the remedial courses and even then may be unable to pass and move forward. It can be extremely disheartening.
But then there are moments like yesterday. A young woman came in to take her math test with us after a previous attempt at the test, two attempts at the class, and an intensive training session over break. There was no doubt in my mind that she wanted to succeed and had been doing everything in her power to break through to the next level. When I went in to check her scores and we discovered that she passed, she jumped out of her seat, screamed, high-fived me with both hands, and then gave me an enormous hug. She started to cry and told me how thankful she was that we were able to help her on her journey. I couldn't help but grin and tear up a bit myself.
There's a video feed in the lab and we can watch saved footage at any time, something I usually only do when I suspect cheating. But I plan to watch the footage from yesterday whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, disappointed, or just downright sad. Life is full of heartbreak, but those moments of pure joy and accomplishment make up for it.
I am so inspired by that student and by many others who overcome obstacles daily in order to pursue their dream.
Now please excuse me while I check the hallway for hidden cameras.