Monday, April 21, 2008

Finally learned today: keep my opinions to myself and don't contribute in conversations about this person or that person, or especially that person.

What makes that challenging is that we are a society of gossipers. Not everyone, I know... I know, but the vast majority of us like knowing secret tidbits about others, and usually aren't too reticent about sharing them as well. I think the sharing part is a coping mechanism--a way for us to commiserate together and not feel so alone in our fear, frustration, and misery. While it's interesting to hear these details about those we know and love, the result is almost always a feeling of participating in gossip, which is never good. So... starting today my lips are sealed and my opinions are my own. Verbally, at school, anyway. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

So do any of you ever click on that Daily Coyote link over there? What a neat story that is. A gal that lives in WY with a coyote who was orphaned at ten days old. His parents were shot because they were killing sheep. She's raised him since then, and he looks to be nearly full-grown at this point. She posts a daily pic of him--and it's one of the highlights of my day. The pics from when he was a tiny pup are so cute, and the ones of him now are so beautiful. I want to go up there and meet them someday.

Today I connected with the dad of a student I had two years in a row back about 1993. I wanted to invite them to my retirement party--they were always so wonderful, and more like friends than parents of a student. The mom taught me how to make some Spanish dish with eggs and sliced potatoes--it was a fun day at their house. I'd been trying to find their address but knew they had moved and had given up the hope of finding them. After school today I was packing up the shelves of books in my office and found a folder with the paperwork that was submitted when I was nominated for and received a state teaching award in 1993. The boy's dad was an attorney and wrote the most eloquent and wonderful letter to be included in the paperwork. I realized his office address and phone number was on the letterhead so did a Google search and up came the phone number and address of his new location. Yippee! I called his office ("Hi--My name is xxx and I have a weird question. I taught at xxx Elem a long time ago and had a student named xxx and was hoping this was the office of his father"). Turns out, it was his mom who was answering the phones. I talked to his dad for awhile, and was able to get their address. I love when those little things happen like that!

So far there are about 16 former students and/or parents that are coming to my party. And a ton of people who used to or still teach at my old school. It's going to be such a great reunion!

And Monday night television stinks.


Nell said...

I don't gossip either... listen carefully the first time I tell you.

Laurie said...

I never MEAN to gossip...
My teammate asked me today, "Can you keep a secret?" and I replied, "Have we MET?!!"
I just hope you didn't learn the lesson in a bad or scary or ugly way that will leave a bad taste in your mouth about a wonderful and powerful career.