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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Beautiful Girls (and Boys)

Well, last night, I finally finished my cards at 11:45 p.m. I will post the last two tonight. Ava said I've been in a "CREATIVE FIT," a term our mother, the original muse, Agent XLO05, used when I was little, to decribe the nearly-obsessive state I entered when I had an inspiration. Ava was probably right though.

What I was doing was making individual portraits for graduation cards for the students in my homeroom. I made different cards for the boys, based on my "Bring Me A Dream" painting; I just don't draw boys that well... I was so blessed with this group. of students. Being a first year high school teacher (after twenty-five years in middle school, no I am NOT still sane). I was apprehensive about spending 30 minutes every day with a group of students and having no specific agenda for them. Somehow, I was assigned the sweetest, smartest, funniest 17 seniors in school. They called us a family, and it really did feel like one. We talked about everything from the usual stuff: grades, prom, and mean bosses to the the more controversial: God, bigotry, politics, fidelity, and even antidepressants to the downright silly: shoes, Angelina Jolie's lips, and Monty Python. They helped me with my computer issues; I helped them with their college applications. They brought me Zaxby's chicken, homemade bread, and Serbian desserts, and I baked them chocolate cakes and gave them Jolly Ranchers. They let me listen to the new Shins and Damien Rice, and I played them Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and Bob Dylan. They called me mainstream, and I said "I'm supposed to be mainstream; I'm 49!

They were unbelievable: already adults, some of them paying for their own health insurance, working full-times jobs, going to school, being moms, joining the military, dealing with serious issues like mental illness and dental bills. I will miss them so much when they're gone; I don't want a new group next year. It's going to be so hard for me when they graduate, almost like when my own son sgraduated last year, but they will be fine. They will be amazing.


Gina said...

What a beautiful story, Alberta. Teachers have been a big influence on my life and I'm pleased to see you and your sister making such a difference in these young lives. Thank you for caring and giving. Keep up the painting and playing, too.

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