Anyway

I've spent the entire day catching up on reading for class. "Half the Sky" is a gut wrenching manifesto on the plight of women around the world. As I was reading, I came across the story of Edna. She was the first Somali woman to learn to drive, the first to become a qualified nurse-midwife. She married the prime minister of Somalia in the 1960's but later divorced. Her big dream was to build a women's hospital in Somalia because, "she didn't want her legacy to be a Mercedes: She wanted it to be a hospital."

It's left me wondering what my legacy will be. How will I leave my unique mark on the world. The art cards I made the other day have been sitting next to me on my desk... they read: She made a difference anyway, She spread her wings anyway, She kept climbing anyway, She stayed on her path anyway, She spread hope anyway, She did it anyway... I hope mine lands somewhere in this vein...

Tomorrow morning I'll be asking my students to think about their legacies.

A is for Angst

I walked into class this morning just before a downpour. All of my students were complaining about a huge test in another class... apparently, it's mid-term week. I must've missed the memo.

But I already had a lesson plan. I had 3 chapters to cover. I settled them into a group project that would help them in the long run and things were fine. Then I looked over and one student (isn't there always ONE?!) letting her partner do all the work while she flipped through the flashcards for this other mid-term.

"Put those away, please," I kept my voice calm, even, and friendly. She acted like she didn"t hear me. She was less than 4 feet away. I said it again and she looked up at me with the biggest adolescent attitude.

"What?" 

"You're in my class now and there is work to be done. I need you to put everything else away and get started." Again, I made eye contact and kept my voice calm and low. The rest of the class hushed. She tried to excuse her behavior but when she met my gaze, she put her flash cards away and a minute later, when everyone else resumed the task, she got up and left. 

I guess I embarrassed her. That was never my intention. She returned about 20 minutes later and sat with her arms folded and stared at the floor through the rest of class. The second I dismissed them, she ran for the door.

The thing is, I remember being 18. Her, "you're not the boss of me" angst is familiar to me. I've been there. And I think I handled the situation fine. But...

Am I dismissing things or people (in my own life) because my own agenda feels more pressing? Hmm.