Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All in a Day's Work

Teaching is one of the few professions where you can laugh one minute, and then cry the next.  Today, was one such day.

These are some exerpts from my day:

"Mrs. Rodriguez, what are you eating?"
"Calzone," I replied.
"Ewwww!  You're eating a cow bone?"
Cal-zone. Not cow bone.  Oh, forget it.

My student came to the word "democracy" and was struggling with it.  I asked them to chunk it and look for words they recognize inside the word.  "Oh! I see 'crazy'".  Well, democracy might seem crazy at times, but...

"Mrs. Rodriguez, she was my mom's teacher."
"Honey, I don't think she appreciates you telling everyone that."

We had just finished up a unit about Civil Rights and I played the video clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his "I Have a Dream" speech.  As we were walking down the hallway, one of my students told me, in a very dreamy accent, "Mrs. Rodriguez, I have a vision....." 
"Oh really?  What is your vision?" thinking it would be something grand and heroic.
"I have a vision" said in the same dreamy accent, "that I am going to go into the restroom to wash my hands!"
Not exactly the vision I had in mind..........

And then, just as suddenly, the laughter can turn to tears. 

"Mrs. Rodriguez, my great-grandparents are missing.  They went hunting on Saturday, and no one has seen them since."  A little background, we had a good-sized snowfall Sunday into Monday and then temps plummeted into single digits.  The rescue effort has turned into a recovery effort.
****UPDATE***** The elderly couple was found, safe.  They did get stuck in the snow, but they had made a fire and survived the last few days.  The search helicopter saw the smoke from their fire.

And then, as if my eyes didn't well up enough, another student told me that because today was the last day of the month, she "can't go home because we have no money for gas".  When I suggested she call home to ask where she should go, she replied that her mom was "out of minutes" on her phone.  I can't imagine being a child and having to worry about things like that.

Overall, the good times do outweigh the bad.  We laugh more than we cry.  But, we do cry.  And that's okay too.

where Glory meets my suffering