Friday, January 10, 2014

Being Remembered

"My hope is to leave the world better by my having been there."  -Jim Henson

This quote has always been one of my favorites.  It is something I'd like to think that I've been successful at maintaining; living a life that makes the world (even if it is my tiny, small part) a much better place.  I try to be someone who is caring, kind, respectful, dependable, and loyal.  I try my best to be a friend that will always be there when I'm needed.  I try to be the big sister, and loving daughter who is willing to go out of her way to make things easier for her loved ones.  I try to be giving and help those in need.  I'm currently working on the forgiving part... none of us are perfect.

Part of the drawing I did this week. 
Final is below
I think my ultimate goal in life is to do what I can to make sure the people who are in my life know that I cared about them.

Earlier this week, I learned that one of my students passed away.  He was in a tragic car accident.  Sadly, this student kept to himself.  He didn't talk to any of the other students in class, and barely spoke to me.  My last memory of him was our conversation before winter break about using that time to get caught up on assignments he fell behind on.  He seemed optimistic and thanked me before he left.  I didn't really know much about him.  Regardless of that fact, I was still saddened by the news.  I thought I was ready to deal with the reactions of the students when we returned from our break, but I was wrong.

Close-up of part of the drawing below
Monday was our first day back from winter break.  It was the first school day of 2014.  Students came in to class full of energy and stories.  Teachers were asked to read a script to relay information to the students about the tragedy and to provide support if they needed it.  But I was completely shocked when my class wasn't phased by the news.  They picked up their previous conversations as if I had not made an announcement at all.  Not what I was expecting.  I think I was even more shocked later that day when the class he was in didn't mention anything about the announcement.  I honestly think they are unaware he was in that class.  I'm sure they didn't even know his name.  This seemed to depress me.  It just felt so wrong to me that there was no reaction. 

I spoke with my friend and colleague and she told me that a lot of her students talked about him and remembered him.  She saw the reaction I had thought I'd see.  It made me feel a little better knowing there were some people on campus who missed him. 

But this whole experience made me think about what we leave behind.  The only important things we leave behind are the memories of who we were to others. What kind of memories will you leave behind?  How will you be remembered?

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou
I couldn't really shake the feeling and I ended up putting this together.

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