Thursday, May 01, 2008

My Favorite Subject

I tell you what. Calculus has sure done a one-eighty since the beginning of the year. By the way things were looking I was scared that she wasn’t going to make it to graduation, but I guess she caught her senioritis before everyone else and thus recovered.

Did you know that she’s going to go to college for sign language? I didn’t either! It came totally from left field for me. She says she plans to teach it. Did you hear me? Teach!

I asked her if she knew what she was in store for, and she said, “You know that movie you told me to watch?”

She loves movies.

“It was that Dead Poets Society. In the movie Robin Williams said, ‘You must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.’ So I needed to find my voice, right? The ironic thing about that whole voice thing is when I was six I temporarily lost my hearing. At the time we had no idea that it was going to come back. I was totally freaked. Well, not everyone in that position is going to be as lucky I was—and I think I want to be there for them as their teacher—to help them.”

Now that sounded like something from a movie! I guess all that DVD watching had to do something. And that irony comment—yowzah! I tell you guys that it has been amazing to watch Calculus grow over these two years.

From my cherishing smile I asked, “So do you know some sign language now?”


“Show me something.”

“Like what?”

“What’s one of the first things you learned?”

She fires me an awkward middle finger. You could tell that she was testing the waters on how far she could take a joke with me, and she was regretting it. My laugh eased her worries a good bit. So much so that it led to her shooting another finger. We’re both laughing then.

She teaches like I wish I could.

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