Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 28, 2020 #Bookaday

It's all the fault of Paul Jennings!
A colleague at Parkside,
he reads to kids faithfully.
Ask any of his current or former 
pupils can verify who's one of his favorite
authors.  I can too....we all quickly say, 
"Jerry Spinelli." 
We're all in quarantine due to the
COVID 19 pandemic. However I 
did return some books to a lovely 
Little Free Library near my home today.
There it was! 
  I met Maniac, Amanda, Grayson, Mars Bar,
the Pickwells, Mrs. Beale, and the McNabs.
It had anguish, terror, laughs, fun,
 books, honor and there was
Stoke your soul with stories.
I promise, it redeems the spirit.
Help kids discover the joy of reading to
ensure they have a voice now & in the future.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Two Men

We've met, thought I do not know the names of either gentleman.  They're separated by age, six months of time and two extremes of temperature and weather that's common in the midwest.  Not a complete sentence has been uttered between us, yet the images of both men are seared into my memory.

Last year while hiking, I encountered the first man.  It was extremely hot that morning and the sun was merciless; there was nary of gust of breeze.  He was disheveled, thin, and very sunburned as our paths crossed near the Wabash River Swing Bridge. He toted a backpack and jug of water; I felt instinctively that he was young enough to be my son.   My husband and I both said, "Good morning," yet he moved slightly away from us alongside the walkway and into the  grass. As he moved on and away, I felt sick to my stomach.  
This man-child was homeless.

Just last week on a bitterly cold, rainy evening I encountered a second individual who seemed vaguely familiar. Entering the Post Office late that night to retrieve mail, I unexpectedly spied
 a bicycle in the lobby. A plastic bag was tied onto one of the handle bars and as I walked past the bike, a bearded gentleman nodded in my direction. At that instant, I knew our paths had crossed last summer.  While walking past The Basilica of St. Francis Xavier Church early one morning, he was sleeping on a bench and his bicycle was parked nearby.  I never disturbed his slumber back then, and now I simply nodded back to him saying, "Good evening."  I noticed a hamburger on the counter in front of him and realized that the warm, lighted lobby was offering him shelter to enjoy a simple supper.

If ever we believe our efforts to build empathy in young people is fruitless, or to nurture their potential is impossible - then perhaps we
deserve to feel the pain of being lonely and lost.
I know not the story of either gentleman
at each step to be an intruder, never welcomed? As educators, we can and we must
 do our  part and ensure that an echo,
 "You are not alone" becomes reality.
                                                                ~Rose West

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Bathed in Gold

Crisp winds and sunshine
bathe the treetops in gold, on
this beautiful day.
~Rose West