professornana (professornana) wrote,

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What a difference a day makes

Today, BH and I headed back down the Seward toward Portage Glacier. The day was sunny and warmer as we began our drive, a marked difference from yesterday's outing in the cloudy drizzle. It was fun to stop at some of the same locations and take photos of the peaks that yesterday were shrouded in clouds. Today, those same peaks fairly shone with their green blankets. (I promise to post photos to demonstrate later. I have yet to transfer photos from the phone to the computer). Seeing the same mountains in these two different sets of circumstances reminded me of how ethereal and changing kids are.

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.
Tags: changines, snapshots
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