Monday, May 3, 2010

Six Thoughts

Once in awhile I have lots of little stories to share instead of one big tale. My dad would call this the "salad bar" approach. Here goes:

1) One of the things I know I need to work on as a teacher is not taking things so personally. Last week I was discouraged when one middle schooler said something really ugly to another. Like, I made him tell the principal what it was, because I wouldn't say that word out loud kind of ugly. It absolutely crushes me when I see or hear kids we unkind to each other. I desperately want them to love literature and become successful readers and writers, but if I'm honest, the one thing I want even more than that is for them to treat each other lovingly.

However, there were some really redeeming moments that made my mood soar. Last Wednesday I had the students write an essay relating to how Pip spends the majority of Great Expectations trying to achieve and maintain a lifestyle he's decided will bring him happiness. Their prompt was to write about a lifestyle they wish they led. One student, an avid dancer, wrote about how she wished she could open a dance studio for special needs kids one day. Another wrote about how she wants to be a photographer, then open a coffee shop and then follow Jesus' model of loving on people with her customers. I was so proud, and delighted.

THEN, this morning, one of my seventh graders waltzes into class and declares that she loves The Old Man and the Sea and that it is her favorite book she's ever read. De. light.

I know I can make them read a book. I hold lots of sticks and carrots. But, what I really want is them to fall in love with stories and characters and truth and beauty. So I was just tickled. Still, I must learn to not take it so personally. But how?

2) We're helping host a couple this weekend who is moving here to teach at Quisqueya next fall. They have several kids and a life in Texas, but felt God working in their hearts in a special way after the quake. Their lives are doing a total 180 as they prepare to move to Haiti, and I'm so excited to help smooth their transition if possible.

3) Other hot weekend plans: Friday is the high school dinner dance. Prom was canceled this year, so Quisqueya is holding a 9-12th grade dinner, followed by a little dance. Ben and our friend Bearded Tony are the chefs, our school chapel is the venue, and our friend Sean is the DJ. I will be a waiter. Total ticket sales so far: 15 kids. It's the first extracurricular event at the school since the quake. We'll see!

4) Last weekend we journeyed to the Port-au-Prince Baptist Mission for the first time (you can see their playground, alligator, and monkey here).The mission has a church, hospital, museum, zoo, bakery, Haitian crafts store, restaurant, greenhouses, education center, and more. We ate in the restaurant and looked for some gifts to buy for our nearests and dearests. The bakery was completely sold out by lunchtime, however, and the store was almost empty, too- all these gringos visiting lately, I guess:) Here are the animals in the zoo: one alligator, one monkey, a handful of rabbits, one goat, two guinea pigs, some doves, and a handful of peacocks.

5) It's the rainy season now. Just a few shots of last night.
 6) Lastly, we had a pretty big aftershock this afternoon around 2:30. It was the first time we've had an aftershock in class. I had the high schoolers in my room for study hall, and Ben had come in to sit with me. We were all reading quietly when it started. It lasted a few seconds, and every head in the room shot up. Ben told everybody to stay in their seat and went out in the hall to tend to some other kids who had run out of their classroom. My kids were so mature- I was so proud. Everybody said they were ok, and we all went back to reading after a minute or two. Oh man. I guess it's part of our "new normal".

Katie

2 comments:

  1. Katie, I was in the Army and it shocks me what I hear from middle & high schoolers while subbing (even girls). I try to let the one light bulb that goes on take care of all the darkness. Your aspiration stories and Hemingway aficionado are light bulbs. You're doing good stuff, keep it up.

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  2. Katie, truth and beauty...Jesus shining in the darkness. Do not be discouraged, the seeds are planted, God's timing is perfect.

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