Wednesday, November 24, 2010
November is an interesting month. The end of a quarter, the beginning of another, you know your students, you are building on their strengths.
Event: The breaking of the Pompeii mug.
At the beginning of 7th period a student saw a spider and screamed, jumping to her desk chair, and several students followed. An intrepid scholar spilled extra pens and pencils from a mug that was serving as a reservoir in order to contain said arachnid. With it captured, the student then heeded fellow-students' urges to "free" the spider outside and in the process, dropped the mug on the slate, breaking the mug. (the spider was fine). Students return to tell me the mug is broken and I ask "which mug? the snow-man one?" "no, the one with the wall-painting" DUH DUH DUNNNN! It's the Pompeii mug. A simple 7 Euro mug, but a fave. So I suck it up, accidents happen, and let's move on-please collect the pieces, we don't want anyone to fall or be cut by the remnants.
Fast forward to Tuesday November 23rd, 2010. Students ask me to step out into the hall and hand me a note (glitter-lettered) and a bag. I asked, "Is this a Thanksgiving gift, how thoughtful!" "No, it's a we're sorry gift." The lovely children gave me a mug that they had hand painted with "semper ubi sub ubi"-a Latin joke meaning always wear underwear. Nearly brought to tears I embraced each one and they explained that they saw that the mug was important and they were moved that I had said "accidents happen" and moved on with class on that fateful day.
I've kept the pieces of that original, broken mug. I think that I will place them in a shadow box frame with the word "patientia". Only through patience do we take steps toward the goal-sapientia.