Saturday, April 30, 2011


Luke & Dad's Fourth Year and Three Quarters

Occasionally you will meet a person who has found her calling in life. Her work will redefine your understanding of her art. You have two such teachers in Mrs. Insley (left) and Ms. Kim (right) this year. If they are impressive individually, they are formidable as a team. Let's just say I've never seen anything like them in all my years of team building as a venture capitalist -- one plus one equals one hundred.

You had a difficult time towards the end of your time at Aiden despite our affection for the school. The big class rooms and having older kids in the classroom brought you down. You came to hate going to school. It impacted your entire view of the day.

Mrs. Insley, Ms. Kim and the River School turned all that around at a critical point, I believe. I'll let them describe that transition as I've asked them to do this quarter's blog post and be my first guests!
You have made this Beaver year so fun and rewarding. You weren’t too sure about us at first, but you quickly fell in love - “I need black reading glasses like Mrs. Insley or I can’t read!” - and we fell in love with you. Once you felt safe here, you jumped right in and did whatever you had to do to have fun, even when it was frightening or just … different (we’ve done a lot of “different” and weird things this year). 
We remember the first time we tie-dyed shirts for our pumpkin patch field trip. Oh, you were so curious – scientist you. You watched everyone else go, made observations about the steam coming off of the water, and you even asked your friends how it went. But you steadfastly refused to do one, even though it was clear your curiosity was about to make you explode. Well, the next time we dyed shirts – River School colors this time – you were the first in line! That’s one of the great things about you: “I’m gonna give you one more chance!” you’ll say to friends who aren’t playing nicely or to yourself when you get frustrated … or even to different activities that don’t feel comfortable at first. 
One of the greatest things we’ve seen in you, Luke, is how important friendships are to you. Having and maintaining friendships is hard, even rough sometimes, but this makes us who we are and has a lot to do with who we will become. You’ve definitely had your special friendships and favorite friends, but you’ve learned that as member of a class or a team – especially one as AWESOME as ours – you lose out on really great things if you give up opportunities to get to know everyone. “I’m playing with Marley and Bryce today since Charlie isn’t here. I thought I’d be kinda sad that he’s not here, but I’m having a lot of fun with my other friends.” 
Now we have to share one more favorite memory. “Ms. Kim, Ms. Kim, I have to tell you something! I just burped, like a big burp. And I know I’m supposed to say, ‘Excuse me,’ but I couldn’t because I actually just threw up a little in my mouth. I kept my mouth closed though and swallowed it ‘cause I didn’t have anywhere to spit it out. Aren’t you sooo proud of me for not throwing it up??” How does one respond to that? 
But yes, we’re so, so, proud of you (for not throwing up and for a slew of other things). We’re proud that you’ve made friends and learned to negotiate games on the playground. We’re proud that you’ve learned to eat and enjoy lots of different foods – even weird ethnic foods that Ms. Kim made you try. We’re proud that you’ve worked so hard in Mouth Time and Handwriting and all of the other “academics.” But most of all, we’re proud that you are proud of yourself, because there’s so much of you and so many reasons to feel that pride.

Luke, we may have made you a Beaver, but you made us teachers. Good ones, too. Having had this time with you has affirmed and solidified our belief that we chose the right school, the right class, and the right kid to fall in love with. Thanks, Buddy. 
We love you, Hot Stuff. 
Mrs. Insley (the cool, tall teacher with the glasses)
Ms. Kim (the short Asian one that makes you eat weird food)
As you can see, these are very special people. Remember them. I will.



No comments: