Sunday, September 25, 2005

Every time I forget

Every time I forget and get frustrated with teaching, I remember one of the main motivations to get me through this--Yvonne Fraley.

Yvonne was like a second mother to me and my sister as we grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She loved us fiercely, and we loved her right back.

She passed away (cancer) on the day my graduate program started, June 14th 2004.

Today, I received news that my childhood best friend's younger sister passed away. Meg Sanders was riding her bike at Smith College when she was struck by an armored truck. She was riding her bike home from her late night shift at a women's domestic abuse shelter. Laura, my old friend, lost both of her parents to AIDS when we were twelve. Now Laura and her older sister Mary Beth have lost a younger sister who clearly made a positive impact in her community, and I know Laura cared for her a great deal. (Meg is the one in the picture here, getting ready for an impressive bike for a cure AIDS fundraiser.)

I am frustrated and saddened for Laura and her family and all that loved Meg. But what I feel I did with the frustration I felt at Yvonne's passing--take it and make it into motivation--I hope Laura can do as well.

My thoughts are with Laura tonight.

It's been a hard few days. Ryan and I have already had a share of bad news this week.

And I'm sick. I don't know if the stress of school and the emotional stress have helped bring this on, but Thursday I knew something was coming as I felt icky and on Friday, I would have called in except I was silly and forgot to bring the number home. I tried to go home early, but we couldn't find someone to take my 4th hour in time, so I just stuck it out. I'm glad I did (yay, I still haven't used any sick days!) but 5th and 6th hours weren't exactly pleasant. Oh, and to add on top of that, my room was somehow heated to the point of serious discomfort. The kids kept complaining about it, and I had to bite my tongue from saying, "Jeez, at least you don't feel like absolute crap on top of it all! You may be uncomfortable, but think of how your teacher feels..." I keep forgetting that often these kids aren't terribly capable of thinking how a teacher might feel; I'm pretty sure some of them don't think of us as human. But my third hour was lovely and charming as usually--one pariticularly boisterous kid said that he was glad I didn't call in sick because he didn't want a sub and another girl told me that she hoped I felt better as she was leaving for the day. I just want to hug them.

And I need to remember. When I am frustrated at the later hours, I need to think of the patience, the kindness, and the good hearts that we have lost recently--Yvonne Fraley and Meg Sanders. I need to take all the goodness that they would have given to others on this earth and give it from myself. Because I know both of them would have touched so many more lives had they been given the chance. So I will pick up and where I can, be good and patient and positive too. (Which is no small feat in this profession!)

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