“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” - Minor Myers Jr.
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Unrelated to the context, this quotation makes me think of sweet Maria. Do well in the world but more importantly, do good.
You are [our sunshine]
Today, I am tired. I think most of us teachers are feeling the exhaustion levels rise.
We went to the preschool spring sing rehearsal first thing, and the students seemed to love this. They felt like it was a way for them to show their support of their younger counterparts. It felt good to have the school gather together, listening in to their sweet songs. Two of the songs tugged my heart strings: You are my sunshine and Put a little love in your heart. Something about sweet, innocent children singing these emotion-filled phrases brought tears to my eyes. Maria is our sunshine. Maria makes our world a better place. As simple as these seem, they really stuck with me throughout the day.
We learned some things in class, reviewed parallel and perpendicular lines in math. Talked a bit about the periodic table and did some research on all individual projects. Reviewed research skills/tools/databases. We’re getting through. It will be better soon. The combination of losing our dear sweet colleague with the final weeks of school means we are all focused on different things, attempting to put our studies first but truly feeling unable to at times.
It will get better. Maria would want it to resume, let our learning flourish and emerge from our conversations and interests. Very soon.
Today was less messy. Less tear-filled. More numbness and shock. I woke up fiercely missing Maria and did my best to channel her sweet spirit for the sake of our students.
We gathered together as a fifth and sixth community to start the morning, providing a space for students to ask questions, share memories of Maria, and sadness as well. We gathered together to offer resources, coping strategies, and help the students understand the variety of emotions they may be experiencing. One student pointed out how much he’ll miss Maria during Halloween- she always walked around neighborhoods with him and his brother and one of their aunties. He reminded us that she wouldn’t want us to cry, but be happy and smile, and that she was so caring. He is so right.
Students adjusted back into their routines while we adults went through the motions. Kids are so resilient in how they bounce back like nothing ever happened. I think adults are resilient too, but not in the ways we once were. We carry our memories differently as we age. The preciousness of life becomes so much more apparent in times of sorrow, and over time in general as we lose loved ones. This time, we’re saying goodbye to someone who was so young, with so many great things coming her way, that it doesn’t make any sense in our definitions of the length of a person’s life. This one was dramatically cut short, so it doesn’t fit into the typical part of our hearts or brains. Rather, it consumes these two spaces as we try to figure it all out.
I just keep thinking of Maria and the little things in my life that I have taken for granted. The world is looking and feeling more different than ever. Maria has made an incredible impact and continues to leave her positive mark our community. What a magnificent and compassionate person. What a bright and shining light she shared with us. I miss her smile and her energy so much already.
Today I received some very sad news about a truly incredible colleague. I don’t think anyone ever wishes sad news for anyone, nor do we really know how to react when faced with such tragedy. I guess that’s how the world shocks us out of the clouds of everyday stresses and back into reality and what’s most important.
Throughout the day I have had moments of sorrow and tears, and know that these will be with me for a while. The logical part of my brain wants to make sense of what has happened in losing a friend, but nothing will ever make sense in this situation. It is far too unbelievable to understand. I want to be able to explain what happened, and to learn why it would have happened, to try to feel remotely okay. But for now, none of this makes sense and so instead, I’m trying to push my confusion and broken heart to the side. What good, if any, can come from this experience? A few thoughts inspired by my dear friend Maria and the lessons that she shared with us…
- Your life is precious, don’t waste it away on frivolous things. Spend your time with people you love doing the things that you love, whenever possible.
- Believe in the goodness of people
- Sometimes, life is hard. Remember, there are people in your life who believe in you and will support your through even the bleakest times. Maria stood by me my first year at our school when the going got tough, and she never gave up on me.
- Don’t waste your time holding grudges.
- We need to love and support each other, through tears, sadness, anger, frustration.
- Listen more. Talk less so that you can hear more.
- Make decisions that aid in your happiness. If they don’t make you happy, make a different decision.
- When all is feeling negative, find the nugget of positive and shine it brightly.
- Life is all about choices and risk-taking. Choose what matters to you most and live those choices out fearlessly
- Be grateful every day.
I think that I will figure out what I am supposed to learn from this huge hole in my heart, but for now, I will think of how Maria would handle this situation: let the tears flow, the emotions fluctuate, and find peace with each new moment.
Some people have asked to read the commencement address I delivered this morning to the 2013 graduates of Butler University. So here it is.
My own commencement speaker, who shall remain nameless, began with a lame joke about how these speeches only come in two varieties: Short and bad. This…
I think that one of these days you’re going to have to find out where you want to go. And then you’ve got to start going there.
[5.8.13] erbs, day 3
3 things that went well today:
1) Sharing new science library books
3) (Happy) Hour with CFGs
My role in these 3 things:
1) I went to the library yesterday and snagged a bunch of neat new science books for our upcoming studies based on students’ interests. They’ll be gathering some information and ideas about what they would like to do with their final science long term projects for the year. I’m looking forward to our project brainstorm and designing discussion on Friday?
2) Because we are testing, and our brains are mushy, we are paying team-Clue during our shortened class periods. It was a blast today! My role was to explain and describe the rules and game play, while building up team expectations of sharing, turn-taking, and communicating. They were very successful and engaged with the game incredibly.
3) I attended our last CFG meeting of the year, and after our whole group chalk talk and debrief, we headed over to our local happy hour spot. As we sat around the table, I felt a pang of sadness in my heart knowing that I’ll be leaving this wonderfully open-minded, caring, compassionate group of colleagues who are committed to our school community. I also felt overwhelming gratitude for the support that they have given me this year and over the past few. I will truly miss them, and am so happy that we’ve had these years together. It was also fun reminiscing about our time, and recognizing how much life changes in just a few years. Time can be so humbling.