One day a child could come to class shining with energy and enthusiasm. In a heartbeat, that same child could positively radiate thunderclouds of temper and anger. I guess as adults we learn to control this Jekyll/Hyde transformation a bit more (though truth be told, I do not think I am very good at it still). This goes back to what I was writing about in the post from yesterday: one snapshot cannot hope to capture the whole child. And even multiple snapshots do not do justice. I remarked as much to the BH as we drove back to Anchorage today. The photos were there simply as a reminder to me about the incredible display of beauty I had been allowed to witness.
And so the grades, the writing samples, the book journals, and other snapshots I collect from my students are visual reminders to me; they make me think of the deeper knowledge I have (or should have) of each and every student. As I prepare to send College Girl back to campus, I am hoping that her teachers take lots of snapshots and use them as a reminder of the child underneath all the photos. The sweet, slightly naive, sensitive, empathetic, absent-minded person who sits in front of them cannot be captured in snapshots. Her essence refuses that simple a confinement. Take the pictures, but also take the time to get to know her. I promise it is worth the time and effort. And as long as I keep my wishes for College Girl in the front of my mind, I think I will see beyond the surface, well past the snapshots, and down into the heart and soul of a child.
Tomorrow we head to Denali and THE mountain. I do not know what to expect in terms of connectivity, so stay tuned for updates when I get back online.