Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Inspired by Mr. Holland's Opus and Two Weeks on the Couch

So being off with this injury and finding it difficult to do a lot of things right now has given me a lot of time to fill.  I spend a great deal of it reading or watching movies and TV.  I watched Mr. Holland's Opus this morning. It reminded me of all the teachers that helped that contributed to the vision of the teacher that I wanted to be.  Here are some tidbits from each of them.

Mr. Holland, of whom one of his students said "We are the melodies and the notes of your opus. We are the music of your life.” 

Mr. Keating of Dead Poet’s Society has so many quotes to choose from, but let's go with this one "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Mrs. Frizzle’s ever-ready daily directive to "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy.” 

Yoda’s old standby "Do or do not.  There is no try.” 

Dumbledore managed to be both succinct and profound innumerable times.  Again, how do I choose?  In a pinch, I will go with “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” 

Charlotte of Charlotte’s web, Wilbur’s “blood-thirsty” and clever friend said, “Children almost always hang onto things tighter than their parents think they will.”

Atticus Finch was so full of wisdom and love that my heart nearly exploded when I first read To Kill a Mokingbird in grade 9.  On empathy he said, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

I was as smitten with Anne of Green Gables’ Miss. Stacy as Anne herself was.  She said many beautiful and touching things, but I particularly liked her reflections on people and character. "Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth, Anne. You see, it frightens them, so they put up walls to protect themselves from it. What we must bear in mind is that all these trials and tribulations that pop up in our lives, well, they serve a very useful purpose: they build character, as long as we can hold on to the lessons we've learn from our mistakes. Remember, we can always start everything fresh tomorrow.”

I’ll be obvious for a minute and offer up Mahatma Ghandi’s famous quote "Be the change you wish to see in the world” by which I try to live every day.

Finally, only because my medication is making me drowsy again, and certainly not least is Uncle Larry. Actions speak louder than words with this one, but the fact that he was on the receiving end of "How do you know that?" dozens of times and "Do you have any stupid idea where we are?" only once probably sums it up.  I was not always the best student and there were times when, I know, I infuriated him.  When push came to shove though, he loved me ferociously and was willing to teach me everything he knew.  Since his passing, I have heard so many people say “I would not be what/where/who I am today if it weren’t for him.”  That is what being a teacher is all about.  That sums all of the above up.  Take chances, build character, try to understand other people and leave the world a better place than you found it.

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