School is quickly ending for another year and Teacher Appreciation Week has arrived. Now, more than ever, teachers should be recognized for their amazing creative abilities, talents, and pure God-given intuitions on how to reach our children and adolescents… pulling them into new perspectives on learning, while simultaneously showing, then giving them the world.
One of my favorite teacher-student stories involves myself and a pretty little ancestral Italian thirteen-year-old whose family moved to a ( then) small southern town in South Carolina. Her name was Linda… she had dark brown hair and matching dark brown inquisitive eyes… an intelligence that far surpassed a typical eighth grader.
Poor thing… initially Linda looked ” shell-shocked” … like how in the heck did she end up in Summerville? Gradually the haze disappeared but she remained shy and sweet throughout the remainder of our school year together. I soon realized I could have turned the Social Studies class over to her… and she could have taught it.
So it came as no shock when years later I followed her progressing academic career …as a college professor, ( she earned her doctorate) national and international speaker, author, workshop guru on any new exciting learning or technological endeavors in education.
I finally decided to get my Masters at CSU… ( on a lick and a promise) … and who was there to help and guide me … ” little Linda” aka Dr Linda Kargas Bone. Our roles were now reversed. After completing my Masters Linda invited me to co-teach several courses with her and join the CSU staff as an adjunct professor. Such fun fond memories.
And then it happened… the incident that will always tie us together.
*** Linda called me yesterday to re-visit our shared memories of the ” Dolphin Divine Prophesy.” October 2008 Edisto Island.
I had received my daunting breast cancer prognosis soon after Mandy’s wedding in May 2008. The ( now familiar) story of the dolphin sighting took place that fall on an early morning Edisto Beach walk … a dolphin jumped a vertical leap where I was sitting on the rock jetties. My ” sonar message” -All is right with the world… all is right with you.” Go live your life!”
At the same time this was happening …Linda was stuck in a lay-over in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nothing had gone right with the flight… she was scheduled to do a workshop but now found herself wandering the mostly deserted terminal in the wee hours of the morning… no fast food venues were open and she was exhausted and starving!
She entered one of the only open gift shops to hopefully find some crackers to tide her over. She wandered over to the card rack and immediately remembered she had just heard the news of my breast cancer diagnosis and immediate surgery… one card ” jumped” out at her.
Over the phone yesterday she described it as a picture of a dolphin jumping and one line that read something like… Jump or Leap for Life ! With plenty of time to kill… she wrote an encouraging message and mailed it right there.
It was about a week after my stay with Brooke at Edisto that I had another medical appointment and Brooke had come to go with me. I remember we had picked up something for lunch when the mail arrived.
When I opened one envelope I burst into tears initially and Brooke was concerned it was bad news-but instead it was the vertical dolphin jumping ( on Linda’s notecard) with the message to leap for life… God working in His Mysterious Ways!
So now you see how one student in one class- over three decades … can and does still make a difference in one life! Dr. Linda Kargas Bone!
Dolphins are Nature’s ” Teachers!” Ann Graves left a book with me after touring the garden last week and one chapter was titled: Dolphins Show the Way.
” Dolphins care for one another making sure any that are infirm stay fed and are taken to the surface to breathe. They also extend their care and protection to other species- including whales and humans! “
Dolphins are among the most intelligent creatures and the most compassionate… reminds me of someone I know! 😉
So until tomorrow… a shout-out to our dedicated teachers who deserve so much more but still change lives for our children’s futures!
Today is my favorite day! Winnie the Pooh