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Lesson Plans

Fwd: [Fwd: Another try...]

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Lincoln Arts (lincarts)
Tue, 3 Nov 1998 13:13:24 -0800

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>From: JKNE
>Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 18:54:52 EST
>To: M2BEAR, Econdav, PATCLIPPER, OhHo,
> Lincarts, Jennifer Elliott <>,
> Brasel, nobull, Neifer,
> Snow, tahti
>Subject: Fwd: [Fwd: Another try...]
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>From: Ruth Schnabel <calfest>
>Organization: Cal Fest
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>Message-ID: <01BE0345.108DAE60.jan>
>From: Jan Jones <jan>
>Reply-To: "jan" <jan>
>To: "'Jan at Home'" <ajjones>
>Subject: Another try...
>Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 14:04:34 -0800
>Organization: IFEA
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>Be prepared to cry . . .
>He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in
>Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was
>one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that happy-to-be-alive
>attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful. Mark
>talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking
>without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though,
>was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving
>"Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at
>first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.
>One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often,
>and then I made a novice-teacher's mistake. I looked at Mark and said, "If
>you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!" It wasn't ten
>seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is talking again." I hadn't
>asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the
>punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it. I remember the scene
>as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to
>my desk, very deliberately opened by drawer and took out a roll of
>masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off
>two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then
>returned to the front of the room.
>As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did
>it!! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark's
>desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were,
>"Than you for correcting me, Sister." At the end of the year, I was asked
>to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark
>was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as
>polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the "new
>math," he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third. One
>Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept
>all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with
>themselves - and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness
>before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other
>students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each
>name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about
>each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the
>class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room,
>each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, "Thank you for
>teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend." That Saturday, I wrote down the
>name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what
>everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each
>student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling.
>"Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!"
>"I didn't know others liked me so much." No one ever mentioned those papers
>in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with
>their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its
>purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.
>That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned
>from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home,
>Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip - the weather, my
>experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave
>Dad a side-ways glance and simply says, "Dad?" My father cleared his
>throat as he usually did before something important. "The Eklunds called
>last night," he began. "Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in
>years. I wonder how Mark is." Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in
>Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it
>if you could attend." To this day I can still point to the exact spot on
>I-494 where Dad told me about Mark. I had never seen a serviceman in a
>military coffin
>before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that
>moment was, Mark I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you
>would talk to me.
>The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The Battle
>Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral?
>It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual
>prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark took a
>last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. I was the last
>one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as
>pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. I
>nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. "Mark talked about you a
>lot," he said. After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed
>to Chuck's farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there,
>obviously waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father
>said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he
>was killed. We thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold, he
>carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been
>taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the
>papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of
>Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that,"
>Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it." Mark's classmates
>started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I
>still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's
>wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album." "I have mine
>too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate,
>reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and
>frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said
>without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists." That's when
>I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who
>would never see him again.
>Written by: Sister Helen P. Mrosla
>The purpose of this letter is to encourage everyone to compliment the
>people you love and care about. We often tend to forget the importance of
>showing our affections and love. Sometimes the smallest of things, could
>mean the most to another. I am asking you, to please send this letter
>around and spread the message and encouragement, to express your love and
>caring by complimenting and being open with communication. The density of
>people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day.
>And we don't know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people
>you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them,
>before it is too late. Within 1 hour you must send it to other people.
>Within five days you will have a miraculous occurrence in your
>relationships. You may find new love or have an old love rekindled. If
>you do not send it, you will have, once again passed up the opportunity to
>do something loving and beautiful and continue the trend that gives you
>problems in your relationships. If you've received this it is because
>someone cares for you and it means there is probably at least someone for
>whom you care. If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it would
>take right now to forward this to ten people, would it be the first time
>you didn't do that little thing that would make a difference in your
>relationships? The more people that you send this to, the better luck you
>will have And the better you'll get at reaching out to those you care
>about. Here's the deal: Forward this letter to at least 10 different
>people; within 1 hour of receiving it. Do it, and reap what you sow: luck
>in love, people who care for you, and that warm feeling that comes from
>loving others.
>Jan Jones
>Newsletter Editor
>International Festivals & Events Association
>jan or check the web at:
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Jeanne-Marie Fritts
Executive Director