More steps to education

The weekly photo challenge asks us to show  our interpretation of upward movement with the theme Ascend.

This was my last week of teaching classes for the semester. As I graded my last online final, I recalled how, the week before, I asked students in my classes to stand and be acknowledged for their achievement of graduating this weekend. The smiles on their faces as each class applauded their pending walk to the podium simply demonstrated how much I love teaching and watching this phenomenon happen each year.

The image above was captured last spring on my way to the building in which my office is housed, and where many classrooms seat hundreds of students daily.

The morning sunrise lighting the stairs leading to the building punctuated with the lovely white blooms of the tree gave me a feeling of ascending into a higher place where we can find and reach our potential.

If we look, we easily find this theme ascension, the upward climb, taking flight and soaring among the clouds every day.

Earlier this year, I caught a photo of the Canadian snow geese ascending into the sky after feeding in the Colusa Wildlife Sanctuary.

Geese ascend

Last fall, I managed to capture the Blue Angels soaring overhead at the airshow.

Blue Angels Ascent


As I edited these photos depicting “ascend,” I am reminded of the poem I used to hear as a teen watching late night television (remember when network stations actually signed off each night?)

High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

I leave you with this quote for those still struggling with the upward climb.

Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness.
Publilius Syru

the ascent to greatness

Speaking of photos, don’t forget to check out my photography page where you can access free photos. I just added a set of holiday-themed photos for anyone to use!

In my next post I will share how I easily created the signature below using PicMonkey!



30 thoughts on “Ascending Steps to Greatness

  1. This is a wonderful article all around – the photos, your essay, the poetry. But the best is the inspiration you impart to your students. I’d love to take your class, Terri, finding a way to improve my life, physically and spiritually. I love the way you acknowledge your students’ hard work and their achievements. Just perfect for this time of year, to end one with thankfulness and begin the new one with a fresh and hopeful approach.

    Liked by 1 person

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