Friday, November 22, 2013


I promised stories. This week hasn't felt too much like a week for stories though.

There's this one that I could tell, but it doesn't have a happy ending:
Six hundred students go through my classroom on a bi-weekly basis. It's hard to remember all their faces, let alone their names. Though there are always some students that stick out for teachers. There's one class- all girls and one boy- I would tell the boy that he was so lucky to be surrounded by so many girls. I don't think he ever believed me.
He would go out of his way to talk to me after class, ask me a question, just say hi. A smile was always quick to flash across his face and he was constantly helping without being asked. His dreams and ambitions were good and pure. He didn't just want to 'become rich' like so many of the six hundred (unfortunately) nameless faces. He wanted to be great at something. He had passion. It was unmistakable.
To put an end to the story, my class is all girls now. I no longer have anyone to tell how lucky they are.

I guess I should tell you another story side by side with the one above. This story is a little older, but like emotions they don't have a shelf-life, do they. The ending of this one has yet to come, and that is a happy thing.
In a different country at a different time, I taught about a hundred and fifty students a week. They were in and out of my class several times per week and I knew each of them by name and character. There was one student that was unruly, clever, and for lack of a deeper term- dangerous. He had wit that could cut you in half before you'd opened your mouth. His intelligence was matched only by his empathy, the later of which he would rarely let anyone see. He was loyal to a fault. He had so much passion sometimes it was like he was literally on fire, the way he'd send sparks through a room. He was also harder on himself than anyone in their teens should know how to be.
Now, every few months I look forward to poems and stories from a brilliant writer who has already far surpassed this teacher. His amazing traits are combined with optimism now, and his empathy has become unbound.

I am so grateful to be able to know both of these young gentlemen. They have made such a difference in my life.