'Ms. Cornelius' - An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest writes in A Shrewdness of Apes | http://bit.ly/dAZ57q
Thursday, April 22, 2010 - I have a student who has a serious medical condition. He will not ever get better-- his condition is degenerative.
But he moves on.
He will not be defined by anything but who he is rather than what has happened to him.
He is the most interesting kid. Even though his condition makes it difficult for him to express himself, he still makes the attempt, each and every day, to express his very deep thoughts. He is always paying attention, even if he is pain, even if he is uncomfortable, even if this has not been a good day thus far.
I love how the other kids all accept him for who he is. I love how they all help him get ready as he comes in every day. I love how none of them get impatient when he struggles to get the words out. I love how he was listening to one of the princesses go on and on about some silliness, and he got the perfect wisecrack out, and everybody laughed-- even the princess. When he laughs, his entire body curves up into a smile, and he crows with joy.
I love how he sees connections that no one else does. I love how he never ever gives up-- he is the living embodiment of Winston Churchill: "Never ever ever ever...."
I love how nothing ever seems to get him down, even though he has been abandoned by everyone who should have stood by him, and now each new day is a challenge of just seeing if he can get through the day without falling or choking or getting stuck somewhere.
I love the fact that he reminds of why I entered this profession so many years ago, and I wish with every fiber of my being that he would go on forever.
Each day is a blessing. I try not to worry about his tomorrows. That's what he teaches me, every day. He absorbs each second with a verve and a strength that I wish we could all tap into.
Thank you, Bud. It's your day, today.