Saturday, July 26, 2008

better than free time

As the meeting stretched out Thursday afternoon, the e-mail entered my brain and took shape. It would point out to my supervisor that by volunteering to help cover a summer club for two days I had not had any prep time in my classroom. I asked for some time on Friday. Then I wrote unless...

I do not go on the weekly summer field trips. I see it as a chance to work with the younger students at the school who go on trips earlier in the week. So as I was sending out my homeroom students to meet up with their trips, I was also aware of a missing student and the presence of a group of younger folk ready to garden. They were being patient as I talked over the situation with my assistant... she would try to locate the missing student.

With my floppy hat in hand, I was one step out the door when the phone rang. I was called to the phone. The missing student was in crisis. A meeting had just occurred with student, residential staff, a nurse, and a therapist. The field trip was out and the student had voiced that she could spend the day with me. ahhhh the unless had arrived.

The student helped me and the younger folk harvest green beans, zucchini, red onions, green beans, cucumbers, patty pan squash, and more green beans for nearly 2.5 hours. Then she ate while I ate during part of my prep time, before it was over the student was back. We washed dirt of veggies and weighed out green beans.

I stepped outside to dump some dirty water and saw my supervisor. She seemed upset. She explained she had worked hard making my request to have a free afternoon come true, then she had gotten a call from the nurse explaining how I had volunteered to take a student for the whole day. As our conversation ended she said something about nice guys losing out. However...

Then I did something I had not done yet this year and much at all the last few years since I had gotten an assistant. The student and I covered the entire campus selling veggies. The student did the talking for the most part when we first entered the room. But then I chimed in and we joked with folk... "You only have ... You never come here first..."

I heard that a lot when I used to go out selling with students. My response to these staff, "Let me paraphrase... You SHOULD always come to my room/office first and if I'm not here, you should not sell anything till I get back," I go on, "However buy our last onions and your good deed may plant a seed which will blossom to get us to come here first next time." She buys one of the four onions.

The president of the school buys the last three and we head back to my room to snack on some more of the lavender brownies that have been fueling us this day. We save one for her good friend who loves them.

as I sent the students, who had returned from their field trips, forth for their weekend, I was tired. But glad for the day. I cut a lavender and rosemary brownie and walked across campus on my sore feet to visit a friend.



  1. If there is anything at all that I have learned from my Jesuit friends, it is that availability to others is (a big) part of the essence of following Jesus.

    Could you write a little more about the school where you work?

  2. I have always noted to others at the school where I work that the key word in pursuing their position there is: flexibility! Sounds to me like you are quite familiar with the term...

  3. GG-- as for your question-- I will send you an e-mail this weekend

    Jim-- at my best I am flexible, well no, at my best I am realizing I'm not being flexible and apologizing...

  4. That sounds like a wonderful day... and I would love to try a lavender brownie! I bet they are delicious.

  5. blackswamp girl--- I am beginning to see myself as the Johnny Appleseed of lavender brownies. I add a TBSP of dried flowers for a 9x13 inch pan recipe.


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