Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Giving Tree

I have been running myself into the ground this past week. But I'm not complaining. Every year we spend a certain amount of money on a family in the area who needs it desperately. I had been buying and wrapping these presents and then delivering them to the drop off point.

When I saw the "giving tree" at my daughter's preschool this year I couldn't stop crying. I pulled many items off that tree. How sad is it when a family asks for a rolling pin or some bath towels because they cannot afford them. There was a grandfather asking for shoes and a grandmother asking for kitchen towels. They also asked for shoes for the 2 1/2 yr old granddaughter that they care for.

The possession of these items and many more are just things that I take for granted everyday. I am so blessed to be able to say, "I need such and such" and then have the means to go out and buy that item. Some days I think my life stinks and then I come back to thoughts of the "giving tree." It could be me asking for these things but it's not.

I remember one Christmas when I was younger when my family didn't have a dime to spend on Christmas. We got a small amount of money from our grandparents. It was a sad situation but we accepted it. When you don't have extra money for anything in life you learn to accept it because there is no other choice.

Some of the most impoverished times in my childhood were the most blessed times. There were days when my parents didn't know where dinner was coming from that evening, but somehow it was always there. Someone would just happen by with left-overs from some church function or something like that.

It's things like this that I will never forget. I will never forget where I came from and for that, I will give of myself during every Christmas season as much as I can afford and even more so than that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Slacker Blogger Speaks

Oh my dearest blog. I have been remiss in my responsibility toward your up keep. I miss you so much. I have substituted good writing with forwarded emails and silly blog quizzes. I hope you understand. Don't worry. I haven't forgotten about you and I will be back after the chaos of Christmas shopping is over and before I start the next semester of college. All will be well again in the future. Until then........

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Great Lesson for All

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.Looking around, confused, they asked,"Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?"

She replied, "You can't have a desk until you tell me what you have done to earn the right to sit at a desk."

They thought, "Well, maybe it's our grades."

"No," she said.

"Maybe it's our behavior." She told them, "No, it's not even your behavior.

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room. The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom.

Martha Cothren said, "Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you." At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, "You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it."

By the way, this is a true story.... If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you read it in English, thank a soldier. Yes, it really is a true story...