Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Good Karma

I've picked a career that can drain the spirit.

In every one of my classes I look around the room and see kids with problems, kids in trouble, kids in pain. Some days I feel as if too many people need something from me, advice, encouragement, a hug, a dollar, a sounding board, a nag, a savior.

There are days, when overwhelmed, my psyche screams, "Leave me alone! I've got nothing left."

Thankfully, nature abhors a vacuum.

Every so often I am blessed with students who are there for ME. Two years ago I met a tenth grader, Misraim ( nick-named PoPo), and this year a sophmore named Tabatha.
Both of these kids are smart, focused, and motivated. They know what they want, and they aren't shy about letting people know what they need.

Misraim has mastered the art of what I call "playing well with grown-ups" He is well-mannered, listens, and asks good questions. Tabatha listens well, and asks questions too, however she has a tendency to be way too candid with her opinion, (even though she is usually right) and has upset more than a few of her teachers by pointing out their inadequacies and inconsistencies....Hmmm, who does that remind me of?

These two can walk into my room and tell immediately what kind of mood I'm in. They know how to make me laugh, can find my keys under the mess of memos on my desk, and will spread the word to their less understanding classmates, to take it easy if they notice that I'm having a bad day.

Today I woke up with the kind of headache that should have been the result of way too much fun. Too bad, there was no fun involved. (Unless you're really into sorting socks and folding laundry) Nothing in my personal pharmacy of pain relief would quell the thud between my temples.

Perhaps this sounds odd, but it was nice to hear," Hey you look awful today! What's wrong?"

In my youth I was something of a prodigal. I have spent this latter part of my life hopefully working off that bad karma, and now it looks like I might be catching up. It feels like the good stuff is finally coming around, carried in by Tabatha and Misraim.

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