Search This Blog

Mar 5, 2010

What’s moving us?

I am an unsentimental guy, or at least trying to act like one. But all said and done, only a few things are really moving. And the English expression "this is so moving" has a wonderful double meaning. To move somewhere, one needs to be moved emotionally.

Last December, our students and faculty collected and wrapped some 1000 gifts, I packages of 3-4 items. I was told yesterday that many parents who picked the gifts up to give to their children broke down crying. What were they crying about? If you are a parent and had not been able to afford a little gift for your child, you'd know. We have no fewer than 500 homeless children in Greeley, and about 10,000 on free lunch – not on reduced lunch, on free lunch. In comparison, the imperfections of curriculum, or inadequacy of faculty evaluation system all look… not small, but not very moving. That we also collected some food for homeless kids to take home in backpacks is moving – it is moving me to try to do more, for it was really a drop in a bucket.

A few month ago, a student came to me and said that her program changed her life – and not only because it is designed for working adults like her, and because all instructors have been knowledgeable and kind. It also so happened that she did not have a room to stay for a couple of weeks, and an anonymous donor paid for her motel. The donor did want to be named, and simply said he was helped in a similar way many years ago, and now is simply returning the debt. This story also moves – moves me to remember the debts I owe to many people.

I am also moved by small, almost invisible things – a kind word to a student beyond the job duties, by a question asked of a colleague about his family, by all small acts of kindness, but also by the acts of ingenuity, humor, persistence, and just an effort to do one's best within the given circumstances. Oh, man, that was really syrupy. Sorry about that; this is the last sentimental thing you'll hear from me ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment