Today, however, it's back to grant world and financing. Tonight I return to Stamford to do more work on mentoring student writers.
Yesterday, though, I received two compliments that I wish to share here (because it's rare to hear kindness beyond the aggressive noise of our culture - you'd think we'd be better than this).
The first came from a graduate student of history who attached a PS to her final project that put a smile on my face (her words reminded me of my teaching days in Kentucky),
Dear Dr. Crandall, I have never had a teacher like you before. You bring fire, passion, intellect, humor and joy to your classrooms, but most importantly you bring love Thank you for spreading your persona to everyone you meet. There should be a lot more Bryan Ripley Crandalls in the world.Now, normally I have to pay people to be so nice to me (and I can't afford them), but this came unsolicited. It made me feel great, especially because it arrived from an individual in a class of phenomenal students (the group really jived this semester and every class was a joy).
The second warm fuzzy came from the incredible teacher, Jessica Baldizon, who was my graduate student, a co-founder of Ubuntu Academy, and who works with Bridgeport Public Schools. She and William King, Bassick High School, have spread Ubuntu between high school and K-8 students. Last night she texted,
My thinking as I reflect for a moment...I have this thumb ring I wear everyday since I got it and it has Hope engraved on it...this year the testing chaos in my building has my teaching feeling so fragmented, but like I told Melissa Q hope stays alive in HOPE Club and seeing the ripple effects of great things happening. It's amazing how much action can come from single people (like you). Year 1 of HOPE Club we bought Hope for Flowers for each student. This month another teacher saw an old student of mine with a copy and was reminded how she loved the book and bought two for her classroom. Then last week another teacher came to my room in search of reading ideas for her students and picked up the same book because she may buy a class set for her room...in short thanks for being you and doing what you do. I know it's exhausting but you're awesome and needed!Okay hangnails, anvils from the sky, and dog puke in every room....where are you? The inner-Eeyore is skeptical of this kindness and karma, and now I will be anticipating my tail falling off the next day.
Lucy always pulls the football from Charlie Brown.
Still, I am flattered to end a very hectic semester (that blurred from an excessively hectic summer) )that grew out of an extremely hectic spring) with joy.
Joy is what it is all about, and I often try to demonstrate how I try to take the negative energy of the world and swirl it in a ball that I can push away towards the sky (as if I'm in The Matrix). I am not always good at this, but I will always welcome compliments and stories where my teaching has influenced someone else. I don't my positive swirls of energy.
So, Tuesday, I am beginning my day with a smile and am very thankful I'm able to do what I do. I love / to believe / in hope (thanks Brendan Kennally for the "World's Oldest Trilogy.").
I'm also wondering why, when I went upstairs to toast a drink with Chitunga to celebrate the grading was don, he was already asleep!!!! Actually, I get it. The kid had one heck of a semester himself.