Friday, January 3, 2014

Fats Waller Was Right: "One Never Knows, Do One?"

One girl's smile as I
opened the huge, heavy box,
Overpowering scents...and love
filled with teenaged joy:

Shimmer body mists,
candy, two lotion bottles
And.....a stuffed turtle!!!

This bounty she gave
despite her low grade, despite
her classroom silence

And so the truth, proved
once more, that teachers can't know,
can't guess, whom they touch

G. handed me the giant box, heavy, shifting, right before lunch (all kinds of sweet things have happened this year with period four, right before lunch). I hugged her and told her I'd open it on Christmas morning. "No, open it right now," she urged, eyes shining.

Uh oh, I'd better put on my "appreciative teacher face" because sometimes kids give the darndest things, even things I can't identify, and I have to step diplomatically and enthusiastically through emotional land-mines.

But this time, I was blown away. Every one of the items was something G. would love to keep for herself, but she gave to me out of love. I know her family doesn't have a ton of money, but whatever they gave her for shopping, she had poured so much on to me that I got a little dizzy and my eyes leaked. I looked up at her and her face was beaming, gratified that she had overwhelmed me. Big hugs, and off she went.

And so I know now that G., despite the tug of war grade between a D and an F, despite her stream of Fs on tests, despite me routinely asking her to re-do assignments because they don't make sense, despite her lack of voluntary participation in class--loves period four as much as I do. 


No comments:

Post a Comment