Monday, May 25, 2009

The Backpack

I was cleaning out my closet for a garage sale and I came across a backpack. It is kind of bluish purple, periwinkle some would say, and there is a makeup stain on the outside pocket where Sarah Purlee, my freshman roommate dropped some Clinique foundation. Despite my efforts, it never did come completely out. I had filled this backpack with books for class, papers, notes, snacks, water, pens, pencils and probably 100 tubes of chapstick throughout my college career, but since then have not had a need for it. So it sat. It sat in my apartment, got loaded full of stuff for the move, and has been sitting in my closet ever since.

I pulled it out for the garage sale, thinking that I could make a few bucks if I sold it. After all, it is a Jansport, they last forever. Then I remembered one of my students, who has been carrying his books to school in a rolling suitcase. Granted, it is a small one, but still inconvenient and not at all as functional as a backpack. I decided to take my backpack to school for him. I, after all, don't need it.

When I called him over to my desk at the beginning of the day to give him the backpack he seemed subdued. What was I expecting? Fireworks? A parade in my honor because of my amazing demonstration of gratitude and personal sacrifice? Maybe. But instead I got a smile, a thank you and it was done. I looked at him as he walked out of class that day, backpack on his back, superhero suitcase in his hand, and hoped that if nothing else he will one day pay it forward.

The next day when I was out in the hallway taking down student work, I saw my now former backpack hanging on his hook. I smiled to myself and wondered what kind of treasures he had filled it with. I unzipped the outside pocket to find his take home reading book, and inside he had his folder and homework. I guess what else would a 2nd grader need to haul in his backpack?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thoughts on Mom

Here's what my 2nd graders wrote in their Mother's Day cards. I think they are so sweet, and truly from a child's perspective. Enjoy!

Deer mom I love you. Your the best mom in the hole wid world. Becasue your spechl to me And you help me with every thing. And you give me food. And wash the dishes. Love, C.

Dear Mom you are the best cooking at the cishin you are a nies to me you clen my room and your room. You are a clean house. Love, N.

Dea Mom, I love you. You'r spacial to me. thank you for taking car of me. Don't forget that I love you. Love, C. (She also wrote hers in Spanish, which really impressed me!)

Dear Mom. You are a nice mom. You are fun. Love, D.

I lov mui mom. Love, R.

Deer Mom I love you mom. Love, D.

Yo de cedo. i love you. do me ases acome. you make food for me. Love, O.

Dear Mom, You are nice to me. Think you for cooking us food mom. When you are nice to me, my filling don't hrt. Form, A.

To Mom. Mom I love you and you are the Bist mom in the wo wrot and I love you and have a Happy Mother's Day. Love E to Mom.

Dear, Mom. Thanks for being nice to me. Thanks for cooking. Love, M.

Dear, Mom. Happy Mothers Day! Also you are speical! Love, R.

Derd Mom. Tocku for ben a nist mom. Tocku for ben the bist coock in the house. You are the bist mom cust you givus the tening we want. Live, E.

Dear Mom. I love you for being my mom. I love you for being my mom. I made suthing for you. And a card. And suthing. It has colas. Love, K.

Dear Mom, I love you so much becus you clen my room. And I love you becuse you wahs my cloths. Love you! Your daorther, C.

Dear Mom, Thak you for all the thing you do for me. I'm glad I em your boy.

Dear Mom, You're the best mom. You cook good think you that. Love, A.

Dear Mom, Youa re the best mom. You are beatiful. I love you! Love, L.

Dear Mom, I love you. You are the best mom ever bend in my flamree. Mom you roke. I love my mom. Love, D.

I hop you have a very happy Mother's Day. You are the dest mom in the wrold. Love J. To Griselda.

Monday, May 04, 2009

I Can Feel It

I can feel it, it's looming around the corner. Change. I hate it. Life, unfortunately...and fortunately I guess, is full of it. School is ending, summer is coming. Change. I can feel the anxiousness coming on, I feel nervy.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Please helpe me lift up Esther, my dear friend and co-worker, and her family. Her father in law is currently in Kansas City at KU Medical Center undergoing tests on his kidneys. The doctors here said there is about a 95% chance that the growths they found are malignant. It is hard to see a friend going through such a tough and challenging situation, and sometimes even harder because all I can do to fix it is to pray. Ironic how that sounds "all I can do". It is sometimes the only thing to do.