Today a student brought me a note. At first, I barely looked at it, distracted in my attempt to convince the class that listening to the sounds of the ocean while writing is beneficial. Most of my students have never been to the beach, so when our peaceful CD started playing and they looked at me funny, I told them to imagine they were writing in front of the sea. Again, strange looks, until I said I was imagining myself there right then, the sun shining, the waves crashing, with a big old smile on my face. That time, they smiled back and nodded, finally getting the picture.
Then, I remembered to look at the note and realized it was a list of all the things the student likes about me, (much more interesting than the complaints I was expecting to read). See, when she was really upset with me last week, an administrator asked her to make this list. She wasn’t asked to share, so I forgot about it, but today she unexpectedly gave it to me anyway.
My favorite entry:
Mrs. M is good at cheering herself up.
An astute observation, particularly as I sat there using the ocean to indeed cheer myself up, soaking in a few moments of artificially-created tranquility.
This was followed by:
Mrs. M is good at cheering the class up.
So, as easily as I sometimes fall into a funk, at least I’m good at cheering myself (and others) back up. This is probably the best compliment I’ve received in a long time. Thank you dear, bright, sometimes-angry-but-still-forgiving child.
I leave you with 22 crudely-shot seconds of the glorious Oregon Coast in Bandon from this summer. Maybe it will cheer you up too in its quiet simplicity.