Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

She Cried

“I wanted to thank you,” I said to my son’s sixth grade teacher “I can’t imagine how hard it was to get 30 sixth graders to go through the paper-writing process, but I know my son learned from it and he will use the skills you taught him for many years to come. One day he will thank you in his heart, but I wanted to thank you now.”

It was one of those small expat military communities, where your child’s teacher also goes to the same church you go to and shops in the same commissary. We were at a church benefit, chatting before dinner.

She started crying.

She told me that every year, she teaches the sixth graders to write papers, and they hate it. She started with library research, making bibliography cards on little index cards, formal writing, footnotes and a formal bibliography at the end with a formal title page at the beginning.

I was the first one who had ever thanked her. She believed in what she was doing, but it was so hard, and she never got any positive feedback.

Imagine. Do you remember what sixth graders are like? This lady had courage, and persistence. She gave these students (in spite of themselves) a skill which would take them through the rest of high school and into college. They learned to do it right, so they never had to embarrass themselves by turning in an inferior, poorly-done paper. It was a great gift she gave these students – and no one thanked her.

Well, it would be a rare, very rare sixth grader who has the maturity to understand that while it was a difficult and demanding section in their school year, it was a tool in their tool box of life, a gift that just kept on giving.

Thank you. Thank you, all the teachers out there who knock themselves out to give our children (and grandchildren) the tools they need to be good students and good citizens.

July 5, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Biography, Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Cultural, Education, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Germany, Interconnected, Leadership, Living Conditions, Parenting, Relationships, Values, Work Related Issues | 2 Comments

Kuwait Mode On a Hot Day in Pensacola

Hot Kuwait Sun 8 July 08

“On any given day in Kuwait, this would not have even registered on our ‘so-what’ scale” AdventureMan responded when I commented on the particularly bad driving we had experienced on our way back from the commissary. People were weaving, people were taking right-of-way-not-their-own and people were taking stupid chances.

What is it about heat that makes people crazy?

I wonder if any one has done a study to find out which crimes go up in very hot temperatures, if any?

I’m in my Kuwait mode these days; if there is anything I need to do outside the house, I do it early in the morning (occasionally, early morning is even pleasant) or after the sun has gone down. The rest of the day, I stay out of the sun and in the air conditioning as best I can. I always have projects, quilts to sew 🙂 and books to read, not to mention a floor to scrub and a dishwasher to unload, plenty to keep me busy inside.

My heart goes out to those in the eastern USA, hit by storms, hit by electrical outages and hit by the extreme heat. At least in Pensacola we have a sea breeze which keeps things bearable most of the time.

July 5, 2012 Posted by | Cultural, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Shopping, Weather | 4 Comments