Thursday, August 9, 2007

Revised David Cassidy Poem

David Cassidy-My First Love

The first time I saw David Cassidy I knew what it was to love.

I was sleeping and right in the middle of a good dream

I still dream of him

Like all at once I wake up from something that keeps knocking at my brain

37 years later

Before I go insane I hold my pillow to my

And 20 years of a happy marriage

And spring up in my bed screaming out the words I dread
I think I love you

3. He had light brown hair,

This morning I woke up with this feeling

cut in a shag, down to his shoulders,

I didn't know how to deal with and so I just decided to myself

with bangs to his hazel eyes,

I'd hide it to myself and never talk about it

An irresistible smile

And did not go and shout it when you walked into the room
I think I love you

His eyes, piercing through the TV directly at me, electrified my 10 year old soul.

I don't know what I'm up against

11 Years between us

I don't know what it's all about

I’ll be true to you.

I got so much to think about

He stood on the stage, singing the lyrics to me.

I think I love you so what am I so afraid of

That I will never get over you

I'm afraid that I'm not sure of a love there is no cure for

And that we will drift apart

I think I love you isn't that what life is made of

While I am growing up

Though it worries me to say that I never felt this way

I wrote him letters, fervently begging him to wait for me.

Believe me you really don't have to worry

After the concert in London

I only wanna make you happy and if you say "hey go away" I will

You did leave

But I think better still I'd better stay around and love you

I’ve stayed, Dave

Do you think I have a case let me ask you to your face

I am still here

Do you think you love me?

And I still love you—true.

Who put music in my heart?

I have to thank my German grandmother for teaching me to love and appreciate myself. When I hear other women complaining about their figures or faces, I always think I am just wonderful. When I turned 14, I felt too tall and too fat, even though back then I weighed less than I do now. No matter when I would see my grandmother, and as a teen I saw her often, as an adult much less so, she would always tell me I was too thin, and I needed to eat. I suppose that attitude comes from people who have actually been truly hungry and deprived of food. After WWII there was little to eat, and my grandmother made sure her husband and children had something to eat before she did.
The other thing she taught me was to appreciate my looks, at an age when I was comparing myself to the beauty icons of the day.. She would say, “Your youth alone makes you beautiful, no matter what.” 30 years later, I know what she meant. I look at young women fretting about their looks, so unhappy with themselves. They need my grandmother to tell them they are too thin, no matter what, and that youth, all by itself, makes you lovely.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Critical Incident

I am reposting this because it the original post is among the oldest posts and difficult to find.

Mary Jones, pretty blonde but evil, vitriolic. She acted provocatively around the boys and spoke to me in a tone of voice that implied I was dirt beneath her feet. I came to dislike her intensely and soon called her mother about her behavior because I wanted to write her up. The mother told me Mary had been a former drug user and had attempted suicide, and had spent the last six months in rehab, and could I not patient with her? I tried. I changed the seating arrangements, moved her away from any boys who would try to use her. I sat her next to a nice boy named Tom.

Tom is the son of friends of mine. He, too, disliked Mary intensely, and while he and his family were having dinner at our house one night, he told everyone how Mary would abuse us verbally in class. Neither teacher nor student was sacred to her. Tom and I enjoyed telling each other how much Mary disrupted the class, how bad her manners were, and how could I stand her being so rude to me all the time. I was ready to write up a referral on Mary and day as my patience had run out.

Tom died 6 days later in a tragic baseball accident. It was a Saturday.

By Monday, most students had not gotten the news of his death. I was dreading second period, dreading Tom’s empty seat. I knew the class would want an explanation for which there was none. We spent that class period trying to figure out what Tom's death meant, but there were no satisfactory answers.

We are on an A/B schedule at our school, so I see my students every other day. Tuesday morning, as I was sitting at my desk, Mary swept unexpectedly into my room. She came directly up to me and put a piece of notebook paper in my hand, saying “ I wrote this for Tom.”

I am ashamed to admit that I was suspicious of her intentions. But I took it from her some what hesitantly and began reading as she stood next to me. The poem rhymed. It was 2 pages long in her large flowery handwriting, so it must have taken her some time to write it. It was an elegiac; yet not only did she try to come to terms with Tom's death, she also showed concern for Tom's family in the poem, “What will they do now?” was a line I distinctly remember.

She looked at me questioningly with her deceptively gentle, doe-like eyes. “Wow,” I said, “that is really impressive. You really put some depth of feeling into this.”
“You can do whatever you want with it,” she said, and turned on her heels and seemed to goosestep out of the room.
What to do with it, I wondered. I tacked it to my personal message board and reread it over and over again that week.
Tom's funeral was the following Saturday. On the Thursday before the funeral, I went over to Tom's parents’ house with another teacher who wanted to condole with them. She felt uncomfortable going to their house alone and had asked me to accompany her because they were my friends.
During this visit I gave the parents several of the writings I had received from others—not just Mary’s. Sam and Amy liked Mary’s poem immediately. Somehow Mary had caught their desperation and portrayed it eloquently in as few a words as they never could.

One of the baseball player’s mother read the poem at the funeral. I was touched to my inner core. I saw Mary in the receiving line at the church and gave her a hug, and thanked her for sharing such a kindness with the Gavora’s. Mary looked pleased and radiant. Before this day, she had always looked haughty and cold, but the ice in her had melted and a beautiful, warm girl was emerging.

In all honesty, by the next Monday morning I didn’t like Mary much more than I had before Chris died, but I did want the class to know that Mary had written that poem because most of the class had been at the funeral. So I told them The class looked incredulously at Mary with newly found admiration. She smiled humbly; she blushed fiercely. She shed her vitriol that day and became the person she is meant to become: kind, concerned, compassionate, caring, hardworking, and intelligent. Respectful of herself and others. She is a lovely girl now whom I like very much.

So what was the meaning of Tom's death? There still isn’t one. I still don’t get why God isn’t at the top of his game more often. Would it really have been that much trouble, God, to make that ball fly two inches to the left or right? But Tom's dying made not only Mary a better person, but also me. I had to admit I never saw what Mary had in her. Had Tom not died, I wonder if Mary would have changed because I doubt I would have been able to bring about that change of my own accord.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Response to Evanescence

Response to “My Immortal’ as performed by Evanescence

Since I have been married almost twenty years, I can’t relate to the song in a romantic sense. My husband Jeff and I have grown to inseparable in spirit although we have often been separated because of work-related travel. But I can relate to this song in that Jeff and I will be taking our 18 year old son to college in exactly 11 days. As this day approaches, I think of how wonderful it was to raise him from a baby to the man he is becoming. As the song says, I wiped away his tears, fought away his fears, held his hand through the years. As I dwell on it further, is it my son I will miss or the person I was while raising my son. The role of mother dominated who I was for 18 years, but now I am beginning to feel a little more like who I was before I became a mother—almost an unbearable lightness of being.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Which princess do I want to be?

I would want to be Belle. We are similar in that we both love to read and want to find adventure in new places. We also like men who are a bit of a challenge. We are both very loyal and take care of the ones we love. I also think Belle’s story is a real love story in that she came to love the Beast as he was—not because he was a prince. Most princesses who kiss a prince and then think they are going to be happily married forever after are in for a big wake-up call. Belle isn’t going to have that problem because she has already seen the Beast at his worst and his best. And she knows he really loves her because he set her free, so she could help her father. Any man who understands that a girl may have other obligations and continues to love her is definitely worth hanging on to. Furthermore, Belle knows she really loves the Beast well before he ever becomes a prince because she is willing to risk her life to save him when the villagers storm the castle.
Personally, I would not want to run off with some prince I had just kissed—I would need to get to know him first to make sure he wasn’t really an enchanted toad.