A Journey to the Unexpected

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 24 2012

My Life in Jason Mraz

I’ve been saying recently that nice people have never meant so much to me. I’ve always been easily amused, but in the last few months, I think I’ve begun to see smiles, encouraging words, and simple acts of kindness the way Mother Teresa did–not that I’ve become the little pencil of God writing his love letter to the world yet, but a casual “Have a nice day” from a grocery store attendant can bring me to tears if it catches me at the wrong moment. And I have many of those moments.

Today, my moment was after class, right after I’d had “that chat” with a few of my students wherein I remind them that despite how much I appreciate their honesty, vulnerability, and trust, I will have to report the content of their personal writing. It kills me; I hope it might save them. In those moments, I can’t, but I want to remind them that 13 isn’t even half my age, that I’m well acquainted with the many purposes of long t-shirts, tin foil, make-up, and every other thing that they would believe separates me from ever loving them past their mars and mistakes. They look at their toes, shift their eyes, and walk away. Usually, they write again. We write to be heard, and they’re bursting at the seams–especially the quiet ones.

I digress, but not unnecessarily. I was feeling crummy. I walked back to my desk and a student poked his head in–not one of those “star students” students, one of those “I usually get D’s so no one really notices me” students. “Ms. G–did you grade my narrative yet?” I was taken a little off-guard, but I had just barely finished his before class. He got an A, a perfect 90%–and that little glimmer of a smile, that “I tried really hard, and I’m so proud of myself, but I’m too shy to admit it” smile lit up his face.

It’s just not hard for me to love these ones. You were right, Jason. The world as I see it IS a remarkable place.

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