I wonder if I even spelled the word correctly. Perserverence. Or is it perserverance? Regardless, it is a virtue both learned and gained. In reflecting over the past two decades, I see how little I have known of this trait- comparatively speaking. I have learned much of it by watching my students. I have also learned that fear and self-doubt are the great destroyers of the will to perserver. I rejoice that opportunities to learn this lesson never cease to present themselves. The insecurity that prevented me from chasing one dream 20 years ago is being directly challenged by new vistas. I find myself once again facing the familiar dragon, and this time, much better equipped. I know that to press on is the path that will lead to refinement of character, and – perhaps- the realization of a dream so long wrapped in shrouds. Today I go to receive confirmation in the form of a prize. I am indeed blessed. And by God’s gifting, I can and will in turn be a blessing.