Sunday, August 24, 2008

High Praise

"Can you believe your dad took Bagel Stop bagels to his meeting on Friday and DID NOT EAT ONE?????? What a waste.

I digress. I love your blog. Mr. Bonawitz would be so incredibly proud of you. I'm off to go read it to dad. Enjoy your CHEEEEEEEEEEEESE! " - E-mail from mom

First off, Shame to my father. SHAME! As penance, I demand a bagel air-mailed to Korea. Mountain Man. Better send 20 just to make it worth the shipping cost. ;)

Second, and this is very important, my parents think my blog is awesome. These are the two people who, by law, were forced to slave over my 11th grade papers: correcting punctuation, rearranging basically every sentence I wrote so that all ideas related to A were in the same paragraph instead of in the sporadic (and admittedly at times incoherent) and hurried mess that were handed to them, and explaining (as many college professors were about to drill into my head) basic paragraph structure, controlling ideas, and etc.

Mr. Bonawitz used more red pens than anyone else in the world. He was a 55-ish Jewish man with the best sense of humor. For homecoming he dressed up in a tiara and pearls. All day long. And he used to sing that he was a love machine. And he didn't work for nobody else. (Hm, I just got the irony of that statement.) Each week he graded 100 papers--twice. We had to submit a rough draft, then a final draft. It was a pain in the butt writing a paper each week, but now that I'm in the teacher's chair, I look back and I really admire what he did for us. (And because I stayed up too late talking to a guy [who at least bought me McD's for breakfast!] I'm incredibly tired and may actually have tears of respect and gratitude and fondness welling.) (All)(of)(these)(asides)(shouldn't)(be)(in)(parentheses)(because)(they're)(complete)(sentences). (You can lead a horse...)

So, now I am an ungodly number of years older and the accomplished author of a 61-page thesis on the history of abortion that scored an A-: just the grade I needed to get my 3.40 and graduate from college with honors. And I'm holding the red pen. How am I going to go the extra mile for my kids and make sure they're given the best opportunities to learn English well enough to pass TOEIC or TOEFL? Or well enough to ask a perfect foreign stranger which would be better, the 2 bricks of cream cheese or the 3 tubs?


Julie (It is.) said...

Mountain Man?????

(Love, Dad)

Tracy Paige said...

Isn't it awesome to have those few teachers in your life that made you excited about school. I had a couple of those myself. My Skowronski was a string bean of a man with no shoulders who wore almost retro 80's throw back dress clothes and a lazy eye so far off that you never knew if he was looking at you or the guy across the class room. I had him for both all my social sciences and all my spanish classes in Middle School. He made me want to get to good grades. For a car wash that he helped our class sponcer he showed up in a blue hawaiian shirt that was 4 sizes to big, a pair of board shorts, ray bands, a sun bonnet, black dress socks and a pair of birkenstocks... awesome man. He passed away the year I was living with Sebrina from lung cancer... one of the saddest days of my life. But he definately holds a special place in my heart.

Miss Chris said...

Oh you are beginning to experience the huge self-examination that the teaching profession brings. Here is what I have learned from my 8 years in the classroom. The kids you are sure you are not reaching are the ones who you are effecting profoundly. In the end it does not matter if the child passes the test, what matters is that they think you think they can pass the test. What if they really can't pass the test? Did you show faith in them anyway and help them achieve some success along the way? I can tell by your posts that you are someone who goes for what they do with passion. Your teaching will be brilliant because of it.

Julie (It is.) said...

P.S. All 4 of your grandparents taught - it's just that one of them didn't like it :)