Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet
There are times when the people that cross our paths go unnoticed, unappreciated. I have experienced this many times through out my life and felt frustrated or even bitter towards those of whom my intentions were to be given unrequited. I learned that it is the small acts of acknowledgment offered, when the opportunity arises, that give me the most pleasure. This letter I wrote today is an example of just that type of opportunity. Within its words you will find that I needed little yet, I offered much. It would have been much easier to walk over to her office and verbally request the information I required. More than likely she would have answered my request and we would have exchanged a few kind words but this is not how I function. If you’ve read a few of my post you might have come to realize that to touch someone is beyond value for me. I share this with you today in hopes that you too will pass on your unique touch as you leave your mark on the peoples lives around you.
Oh! and by the way, I didn’t enter the contest. It was the experience that filled my soul not the acknowledgment but, I did get a A for my efforts. hehehe
I need to acquire information about obtaining healthcare for myself this year. I believe I have seen a notice posted on the billboard in the past that displayed a less expensive option offered to students over the traditional unemployment medical insurance services, such as Cobra, located on the web. Although I do not require to access the healthcare immediately, I will find myself in need of insurance before the end of this new year. Please advise me on the steps I should take in order to gather this information or refer me to the proper staff member that is well versed in this matter.
On a more personal note, I have found great pleasure and appreciate the efforts you have put forth to welcome new students to the campus. Pizza shared with the staff, cookies to nibble on during our finals week, hot coco on those cold winter mornings, and the hilarious Pictionary game held in the student lounge are a few of the surprises I’ve enjoyed these last two quarters. The Street Art Contest was an additional thrill, inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone, to take a risk in my art and personal life. Ms. H, teaching the color fundamentals class, gave her students and option of turning in a sketchbook by the end of the quarter or completing a 100 hour journal. After explaining the requirements for both options, she showed us unusual examples and directions that our imaginative art skills could take us. I opted to create the 100 hour journal but refrained from using my own words or art in the work. I blended the contest idea with Ms. Hull’s uniquely diverse concept of art and applied it to my assignment.
For approximately three months I carried with me a large tri-fold remnant of a cardboard box that has traveled with me over 15 years. During my last move the loyal servant, guardian of my most precious pieces of art, collapse upon reaching its final destination. Not being able to explain the reasoning behind my actions at the time, I could not let this tattered old friend go to the recycling bin along with the other boxes that have given past their prime. I attempted to tuck it away but to no avail, Its presence would not be hidden. My children complained as they maneuvered around its bulk and guests questioned on its purpose and reason for remaining in my way. I had no need to form an explanation nor justify its right to exist. Though through the ever present silence my raggedy friend engaged all those that entered my home and soon an uncomfortable understanding was granted.
I had come to realized that the remains of this corrugated companion had become part of my history, hence part of me. The rips, tears and imperfections that it endured over its lifetime of service mimicked my own albeit, not as easily seen. Everyone we engage during our lifetimes leaves a mark, from the quiet lady behind the counter of the convenience store who smiles continuously, as if she holds the secret of life’s happiness, when she offers her customers their change and wishes them a good day to the homeless man holding his sign that pleads for that change indifferently tossed into the ashtrays of our cars. The marks however deep or shallow, boldly pressed into the mind or delicately whispered at the ear, leave scars or imprints that add to the richness of the path we all walk.
It is from all of these events and awareness that my 100 hour journal was born. As I carried that cumbersome board with me everywhere I went, I asked people to leave their mark on me. My backpack full of supplies for them to choose from offered them a chance to communicate their mark in a different more literal way than they first imagined upon first receiving the request. I found that not only did they leave a mark but the moments shared opened my eyes into a world I had never known. The insecurities about leaving a mark taught me why we walk hurriedly through our days, heads bowed and eyes cast down at our feet. The questions asked taught me to speak about myself and built a confidence within. The criticism and refusal to participate opened my heart in compassion. The unexpected stories shared by complete strangers as they left their marks told me I was not alone.
Ms. L, I share this with you in hopes of acknowledgement, that you leave a mark on those of us fortunate enough to pass through your life. The time you spend organizing, planning and providing the student body as well as the staff touch us in ways we may not be able to convey our gratitude properly. The efforts you make to ensure we have opportunities available to achieve our goals successfully do have an effect, at times far beyond your intended expectations.
Thank you for your time,
Amy “Cookie” Oliver