Friday, January 11, 2013

"Occupational Blessings......"

It was an easy day at school today, three of our charges absent for one reason or another, giving me opportunity to mostly relax after administering a couple of tests to one fellow. Work did not cease; but, with three of us and only four children, the whole atmosphere in the room was changed. There are many things about this job that keep me coming back each year. The little Mexican boy in our room persistently calls me “papa” even though I repeatedly correct him that, to him, I am “oso feo” (ugly bear). One fellow in our Fourth Grade math class, whose behavior marks him as one to keep an eye on, has warmed to my instruction thanks to my bribing him with an occasional peppermint. There’s also, though, the girl who continues to dine at my table in the cafeteria. I thought, at first, that she simply had a crush on the lad who comes in there with me for lunch; but it’s beginning to look like my Cheez-Its are the main attraction. You learn their names and their personalities. You watch them grow as they go, bumping into some of them often, in one way or another, from kindergarten all the way Fifth Grade and graduation. One lass spoke to me in the doorway this morning, waiting to go in to her Science class and I learned she was the baby sister born to the family of that autistic lad who was my introduction to Special-Ed some eleven years ago. Somehow she had slipped by me during the last decade, this old man’s mind unable to connect the dots that a decade is a decade. Thursday was a rarity, me encountering a First grader in the nurse’s station whose mother, at least, came here from the Ukraine. Asked in her own language if she spoke Russian, she gave me a smile, her whole face lighting up in a glow. It was mixed conversation for a moment, me telling her that I had learned it in an Army School; but, after fifty years, “pochti zaboravio vsyo”. That latter phrase put together, no doubt, with error, roughly translating to having “almost forgotten it all” and explaining my lack of good grammar. She told me her name was “Looby” and grinned when I expressed my knowledge of it meaning “Love” in some form or another. A new friend. This job has fringe benefits that don’t come in a contract…….


  1. Those are such sweet blessings, Jim!

    1. The kids are what makes it fun, Annie.

  2. That is so cool, Jim. Knowing another language opens up another world, doesn't it? I've said it before but those kids, that school, are lucky to have you! It must have been such a relief for that little 1st grader to hear her own language.

    I agree, the kids do make it fun.

  3. It is this old man who is lucky, Mich.....