View Full Version : A Perfect Friday, Turns Into A Great Weekend

10-18-2008, 10:06 AM
I was looking forward to yesterday since May. That's when 3 friends and I had ordered tickets to see "Dirty Dancing" at Cadillac Palace in Chicago.

Little could I have known that it wouldn't just be after school that would be perfect!

Last period is 'cleaning lockers, desks, boards, etc.' (Everyone does remember that, right?) Another teacher usually gives me 10 minutes to load things into my car, so we can get rolling quick on Fridays. When I came back into my room, we were chatting with some of the kids, when the secretary comes into my room with this huge floral package. One of my last year's students who had changed schools this year sent me the flowers. 6 yellow giant roses, with gorgeous fall greenery. The card said, "Happy Sweetest Day For The Sweetest Teacher Ever!"

This boy had enrolled in our school in 6th grade. Lots of problems beginning with his being addicted to coke & heroin at birth. Then his mother dumped him in dumpster. He was adopted by the mother I know. In 7th grade he was 6'1" and probably 230lbs. He was/is hyper active and his emotional maturity was around 10. I thought of him as 'my Baby Huey'! When excited about something, he would literally jump for joy. A very helpful kid, but wouldn't do a lick of homework if he didn't like the teacher. He did mine, but that left 6 classes he failed over and over. He had serious clashes with the 8th grade male teacher, which was the reason the mom decided to move him this year. She was afraid one of them would 'lose it', with serious repercussions.

She called me over the summer and I agreed with her; while usually 8th grade isn't a good time to change schools, we couldn't offer the support services the public schools can and our 8th grade teacher does have issues, especially with a 'boy' who is his size. The mom has cancer and I think the stress was making her illness worse. I knew I'd miss 'R', but it seemed the right thing to do.

Of course this huge arrangement made the kids in my class excited. "Open it up Ms. D! Is it from a 'secret admirer?' I was a bit hesitant, not knowing who would possibly send flowers to school. Truth to tell, thought it might be a text book publisher or something. :laugh2: When they found they were from "R" they started talking about how they missed him. But capping my gift off, one of the girls said, "Everyone loves you, Ms D, cause you care about us." Talk about feeling 'on top of the world'!

Well we did get out of school, about a whisper behind the students. My two teacher friends and I met up with another friend and took off for the city. We realized none of us had made the dinner reservations, due to miscommunication. We tried where we planned to go, alas they were booked solid. Not a problem, we figured we'd just have to go to one of the less 'fancy' restaurants. While walking we saw "312, Chicago" (http://www.312chicago.com/), right next to the theater. The decor, ambiance, and food were great! It may have been a tad more expensive than Petterino's, ($290), but worth it. None of us had even heard of it before. This morning I checked out the reviews, we weren't the only ones who like it.

"Dirty Dancing" (http://www.chicago-theater.com/theaters/cadillac-palace-theater/theater.php) was fabulous! The high tech scenery, the energy, the 'Australian guy', wow!

10-18-2008, 10:12 PM
Sometimes it's just nice to 'share.' I'm not good with cameras and stuff, so sometimes it's just a snapshot of my life, in words. I sent a thank you via email, as I didn't have the phone number and didn't want to get into the office stuff, for reasons that will become apparent to those able to read 'nuance.':

Dear R*** & Mrs. R****,

I received your beautiful flowers yesterday at school. The arrangement is gorgeous! R***, the card was so touching, best gift I've ever received. It was enormous! All the kids were wondering, "A secret admirer?" LOL! When they found out it was from R**** they were saying, "That was so nice!" One of the girls said, "Everyone loves you, Ms D!" So your gift kept on giving! My day was perfect. I thought I had your phone number, but I'm afraid I don't, thus this email. If you'd like, feel free to give me a call, *******, as I'd really love to be brought up to date on how you are doing.

R****, I have thought of you often since hearing that you were going to a new school. I hope that you are enjoying it. Are you playing football or any other sports? Please tell me you are doing well in school, I hope you have recognized that you are a very bright young man! Does your social studies teacher talk about the election coming up? Seems that is all the students wish to discuss right now.

Mrs. R******, I pray that you are doing well regarding your health. As I said earlier, if you like, please feel free to give me a ring. Thank you again for the beautiful flowers.

K****** D*****

Mrs. R wrote me back, I'm feeling happy, though concerned for R. I know he's getting more than we could give though:

Ms D*****,

You deserve that and a million times more. R**** has never stopped talking about you. You have definetly made a great impression on him as far as best teacher. Your involvement and your care was never ending and will eternally never be forgotten and appreciated from me as well. YOU are what the true definition of Teacher is about. We are both blessed to have experience you in his growth developement. We are glad it made your day and made other take notice of you and the importance you bring to each student you deal with.

As far as my tel# it is as follows *******. You as well free free to use it even if it is to say hi.

It has been a difficutl transition for R**** with the school change and the abundance of class, different teachers and rules. He goes from before to 3-4 to about 11 total teachers and of course each are so different and in different rooms as well. He being R**** has made friends really fast. The difficulty lies in as usual homework completion and getting to his class on time. W***** Jr High if you are late 3 times you have to serve a morning detention and if you fail to serve it you get another and if you fail to do 2 you do Saturday detentions. R***** has served 3 Saturday detention based on lateness for class. Also they do gym class daily and it was difficult for him to be ready in gym suit daily. They have no website for homework so of course we have daily struggles to know what is real and if it was completed or not. When meeting with the teachers last week I was informed that he had 45 missing assisgnment total. He has now been placed on 504 plan and means have been made to keep him on track. He over the weekend has completed all his late assisgnment and now will move his grades from Fs to Ds and Cs. What amazes all is that his testing was higher than anyone in the class and his knowledge of the material is there. Again homework seems to be on weak spot.

I have hear that Mr T*** and somewhat changed. I prayed daily that he would and that not another child will be emotional harmed by his sharp tongue. Of course like all it is a work in progress and if my words to Ms M***** made a difference than it was worth something at least.

I in turn am doing day to day what I need to do to get by the day. I have decided to stop treatments it was really slowing me down and making me tired. Financially it was abit much too. Seems everything goes up but our paychecks. I leave it to the God Lord to direct me to what and where to be.

Again I am so glad your day was brighten and you will always be the brightness of R*** teacher experience. You are a real gem. Pray that you and your family are all well.

As always,
M*** R***

R*** says hi and that he hopes you enjoyed the flowers as much as he enjoyed you as his teacher.

I've said often that teaching in a parochial school is not all about 'rich parents' and 'privileged kids', we have more than our share of needy. I guess we are lucky that on some level most our parents are very focused on their children, but I think most parents are, wherever they send their kids.

We do have well-to-do, but they are not the majority. This level of education is unusual, but so too is the determination to help a very difficult child reach his potential. I really do miss both of them. I'm so happy though that the public schools already have him on a 504, which means that an aid will be assigned to help him with homework and make sure his mom knows what has been assigned. School has been in session about 34 days, he has 45 missing assignments.

For the younger parents out there, count your blessings with happy, healthy kids. Thank God for your health. I wish your children good teachers, none that have a 'sharp tongue' in ways that hurt, not help a child. There is a difference in 'sharpness.' One teacher can say, "S***, you're in 7th grade, not 2nd, what are you thinking?" as S****'s books, pens, pencils fall to the ground and he tells you to 'wait a second, my paper is here, somewhere.' While the two teachers may say the same thing at the time, one comes to the child afterwards and says, 'I'm sorry if I was short. Really though, in less than 2 years you are going to be in high school and no one is going to care that you are 'trying' to find things. NOW is the time to get organized, here is how to do it.' Repeat 1 or 2 X per week for a year or more. The other teacher, just let's the sarcasm stand.

Me, I'm having a great weekend!

10-19-2008, 12:09 AM
How much did we enjoy "Dirty Dancing"? Enough to shell out another $115 in tickets for December and whatever dinner costs. Merry Christmas to me!

10-19-2008, 12:11 AM
My kids are as bad. I made it clear that this year Christmas gifts are at a strict c. $100 limit. 2 tickets to "Rent" and 1 Best Buy card. ;)