Thursday, October 22, 2015

     One of the treasures of being a teacher, particularly, a high school teacher, is that when the kids come to you at age 14, though they are still “kids,” they are mini-adults. I found the best way to gain their respect was to treat them like adults, talk to them like adults and expect adult behavior from them. Most of the time, I was not disappointed. 

     Now there are some that we naturally gravitate toward for various reasons. Maybe they are exceptionally bright, maybe they are handicapped, maybe they are emotionally needy, maybe they demand nothing. Whatever it is that draws our attention to a particular student presents a challenge because, like our own children, we must never favor one over the other. Let’s face it, though, we are all human, and we click with certain people, kids, adults, dolls. 

     The young woman who made this collage and posted it on face book last week had a beautiful smile at age 15, and she was an outstanding student. She had shiny, wavy hair and always seemed happy and engaged. Now I was a French teacher, and a somewhat unorthodox one, so it was easy for this creative creature to find something intriguing in me. I took her with 8 or 9 other girls to Montreal and Quebec where we toured, lived with families and spoke French. It was a delightful trip way back in the 80s. This makes my student somewhere in her 40s, I believe.

     I have not seen her since then, but I discovered her on face book and found out recently that she suffers with MS. I have known a few people with this awful disease, so I have a vague idea of what she must endure on a daily basis. Her posts, however, are always upbeat as I remember her. I was touched by this one because her Bob Marley quote about strength is so profound. She apparently does these collage designs, and I felt that the entire piece was sensitive, moving and validating. 

     We never know when we meet someone in this life how our lives will connect, disconnect and reconnect. I am so happy to have found this beautiful soul, and I keep her in my prayers, all the while admiring her strength.


     This is a very inspired affirmation piece. I use music and meditation when I go to sleep and the picture of ballet on a beach at night came then. When I dream, not only can I still walk, I can still dance. (I’m thin too, but no toe shoes; in the dream I was barefoot.) That perpetuated the idea that I never stopped dancing.