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Wednesday 25 May 2011

Got this mail..Wished to share it...

> An Excerpt from
> The Heart of a Teacher,
> by Paula Fox


> He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School
> in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark
> Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, he had that
> happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional
> mischievousness delightful.
> Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that
> talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so
> much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him
> for misbehaving. "Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know
> what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to
> hearing it many times a day.
> One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too
> often, and then I made a novice teacher's mistake. I looked at Mark
> and said, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth
> shut!" It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is
> talking again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch
> Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I
> had to act on it. I remember the scene as if it had occurred this
> morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and
> took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to
> Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them
> over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced
> at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I
> started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk,
> removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were,
> "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."
> At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The
> years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He
> was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen
> carefully to my instruction in the "new math," he did not talk as much
> in ninth grade as he had in third. One Friday, things just didn't feel
> right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that
> the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves and edgy with
> one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand.
> So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on
> two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told
> them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their
> classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class
> period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room,
> each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, "Thank you
> for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend." That Saturday, I wrote
> down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I
> listed what everyone else had said about that individual.
> On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire
> class was smiling. "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that
> meant anything to anyone! I didn't know others liked me so much." No
> one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they
> discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't
> matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were
> happy with themselves and one another again.
> That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned
> from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving
> home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip, the weather,
> my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation.
> Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, "Dad?" My father
> cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. "The
> Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?" I said. "I haven't
> heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is." Dad responded
> quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is
> tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend." To this
> day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me
> about Mark.
> I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked
> so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, "Mark, I
> would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to
> me." The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang
> "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day
> of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor
> said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those
> who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with
> holy water. I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there,
> one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you
> Mark's math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at
> the coffin. "Mark talked about you a lot," he said.
> After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's
> farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously
> waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said,
> taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he
> was killed. We thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold,
> he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had
> obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without
> looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the
> good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you
> so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark
> treasured it." Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie
> smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. I keep it in
> the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me
> to put his in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said.
> "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her
> pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list
> to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said without
> batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists." That's when I
> finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends
> who would never see him again.
> The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life
> will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So
> please, tell the people you love and care for that they are special
> and important. Tell them, before it is too late.


  1. Apu I luv u :D :P

    btw such a beautiful post... so touching :) and true..most often we dont tell the people we love so much how much we care for them as we take them for granted! :)

  2. Yep sweetie :)..Wil post this to my notes in fb soon da...