Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's a bright, sunny day here in West Michigan. Only a couple of weeks before we leave here for our new home in Macedonia, OH. That will be a great day. It's been fun here, but I feel rather like a vagabond! This place is our second home, being my wife's birthplace, here on the farm. But ownership is shared with two other families, and it will be nice to be in our own home once more.
Here's some more poetry to think about. Enjoy, be well, do good work.

I suppose it's time to talk about
OBJECTIVITY. Much of what's been said
Would seem to violate so many rules,
Conventions. How can one
Properly evaluate a student's performance
If one's involved inside his
Puzzle? Or, how does one discipline?
Manage the classroom? Maintain one's professional
Status? In short, remain adult while dealing
Everyday with adolescents?

Or, doesn't it seem strange that
We're supposed to help them learn?
And the way to do that is to understand.
And to understand, you must know them.
Get inside their boxes, see the best.
Find out their needs, their readiness
To learn, not merely to repeat back.
Strange, to remain objective while
They cry for something else? (To learn?)
Perhaps we misunderstand objectivity?

It doesn't mean aloof, nor distant, nor withdrawn.
It doesn't mean to push away, ignore, or
Be part of another world. NO, it
Doesn't. Which is what some of my early
Mentors seemed to insist upon; and what some new
To the field seem still to believe.
It DOES mean to be aware of your own involvement.
To take it into account. To be yourself,
Above all else, and truthful to your charges about
Who and what you are, so that they may see
You whole. And you are, to them, a person, not a
Puzzle. One thing less for them to
Fear. The differences will be natural,
Respected, and you can truly live with them,
Grow with them, and love them.
And you will be objective.


What a wonderful feeling! To be alive and
To be aware! Able to share the
Sights and sounds of the morning with someone
Special. To rejoice in the afternoon
With that one person in the whole room who,
Just now, said "I understand!"
To feel the heartache of a prom date gone
Astray; the loss on Friday night;
The hard words at home after breakfast; the
Quiet joy of friendships found that
Once were thought lost; of new friends. These
Are feelings many who should know better
Ignore. Who should know better? Must you ask?
Don't you know?

Listen at the classroom door, and you will know.
Know the difference almost as well as young
Persons sense it immediately, with their
Quivering antennae; their own feelings
Close-worn on their sleeves (sometimes), or
Deeply buried for fear of hurt. No matter,
Senses are at the forefront. In the
Classroom, the school, wherever there are
People, the young will know, and they will
The more respect you, if you admit, and
Show your feelings: they are a part of you.