Mr Kruse, an educator who taught us to LEARN!

Mr. Kruse, teacher I met halfway through 6th grade, looked at me my second day I was there. I’d not done the assignment, and I was ready to be shamed again — what he said was life-changing. “ I am surprised. From everything I read and saw, I know you are the smartest kid in class.” Then he went on with the lesson.
I was stunned.. Everyone before had told me they were disappointed in me, that I was not performing, that I didn’t speak well. I wore hand-me-downs, and spoke in a whisper by then. I never fit and I thought I was stupid — it’s what I’d been told.
This was the fifth school I’d attended since Kindergarten, and somehow the teachers were *always* “disappointed in me and the way I couldn’t measure up. My second school was a one-room school, and I was reading Kipling and other 19th century authors in the books there. The third school (second grade) they gave me a slim book which I read during the time the class was reading the first (5 page story of maybe 5 paragraphs total!). The teacher called me front of the class and told me to apologize to the class for saying I read the story and the whole book before they’d read that story. Other schools .. much the same. Math seemed beyond me and most of what they talked about seemed beyond me.
So there was Mr. Kruse, telling me not only that I was smart, but the smartest?!? Everyone knew Doug was smartest! I seldom had problems understanding the work after that. After all, I am *smartest* — Mr. Kruse said so!
He knew when we were confused and cleared confusion before it could grow. He encouraged the best in each of us — that in a classroom that usually held 2 grades in it (it was a parochial school). He told us the best thing we could learn was not memorizing facts and figures, but how to research and draw our own conclusions. That the purpose of school was to teach us how to think, reason, and learn. When I whispered, he smiled and said I should learn to speak loudly, because Gabriel wasn’t going to come blow a horn so all could hear me. LOL. He asked me once in class who I thought was the right side in a war (I was the only one who didn’t raise my hand to answer). When I replied that the winner would be thought right, he calmed the eruption the class made, and asked why. “Because they write the books we learn from.” He then took the whole class on a real discussion about how we perceive winning, losing, and the perspectives of history. He mostly asked questions, prompting us to think and respond. And we ALL responded. He encouraged us to challenge (POLITELY) but to be ready to show why we challenged — and he challenged us without our realizing it.We learned events, we learned the difference between numerals and numbers .. and all but 2 of us made honor rolls regularly in High School. He found talent in each of us, and commended each of us publicly. When I interned in a Sixth LD grade class years later (where I learned I could not be a conventional teacher!), Mr. Kruse was the model I used. I was able to help them know that LD means Learns Differently.
I wish, wish, wish I would have found and told him later that he is the reason I became whole, instead of a compliant,tearful, fearful, stupid girl. Because of that teacher (and my grandma) I learned I had a wonderful mind, a different way of reasoning, and it was not only ok, but a treasure.

I sincerely thank one of my favorite authors for asking a question of us (followers) asking us to tell about an educator most responsible for shaping our life. I wish I’d told Mr. Kruse, years ago, what he did for me.

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For Adam — and others

You can reach out to others, but they have to let you in before you can touch them. Some won’t let you .. others do not know how to let you into their vulnerable place. We always think we could’ve and should’ve made a difference .. and maybe you did make a difference. Maybe you added some time to his life. Maybe you, and others, gave him some smiles, laughs, and hugs he would not have had. Even if you can’t add minutes to someone’s life, you can make the moments they have special. THAT is the only power we do have, you know … to treat each moment with someone as tho it’s the last moment we will ever have.

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another side

I see so much on abortion, read so much, watch the movies and videos .. I haven’t seen this view from first person perspective .. see … My brother talked with me and said if abortion would have been legal, way back then, that we would not have been born. He said that’s why he was against it. I said that my feeling was different ..

If my mother would have aborted me
her life would have continued on a different path
there’s the doctor she wanted but couldn’t have
because she shouldered her responsibility.

She’d made her bed so there she’d lie
taking the punishment she was given
birthed the child she shouldn’t have
and lived with her for all her life

Beaten, broken, teeth knocked out
threatened, humiliated, hit again and again
finally breaking away and burdened
by more than the original sin.

If my mother could have aborted me
the next child, perhaps, she could love.
one that didn’t keep her from her destiny
one she didn’t fill with her agonies

That wanted child would not be ransom,
would not be resented for not dying
would be praised, petted, smiled and hugged
held, not despised as punishment’s reminder

No child should be raised as punishment, you see.
Her life would have been better without me.
and I would have been held with love
in God’s company.

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action hero wishlist

I wish we could have female action heroes who have dishwater blonde hair, mousey nondescript hair, fritzy independent hair, limp hair and no hair at all. And eyes that change color, like the sea — or stay flat grey — or deep, deep browns that draw you in with secrets. With skin pigmented tan to ghost-white to ebony. Half with freckles. I wish .. there were beauties that had scars you noticed as part of their beauty — like we do with Sam Elliot and .. oh well .. never mind …

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FlashFiction post

I slipped the tip of my toe in one of the dailies in FlashFiction 365 day challenge .. inspiration comes from strange places.

Oh, their website is exactly that — to challenge one to write in short bits.

When I can get the image uploaded I will do so. It’s a Jon Foster cover of the ‘zine Dreadfull Skin.

picture 365 challenge – end of sacrificial rite

16 June 2013

End of sacrificial rite
after sacred rye and sought
bound by iron, faith and lies
sliding into fiery night
come upon low growling sleep
blended flame and bittersweet
moonlight and death lust await
salvation’s feral face appears

http://flashfictionwriters.blogspot.pt/2013/06/ffw-365-day-challenge-167.html

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Missing little nothings

We seem to think that big events and weighty, important conversations make the bulk of a relationship. Yet .. it’s chatting of little nothings .. how spring air moves and caresses across the face .. picking dandelions and sending them off to seed other places .. or sharing two blades of grass with a friend and trying to make a blade-of-grass kazoo together.

Lobbing nonesense words and silly verses between us .. twirling and feinting at nothing .. nothing moments are what I miss.

If you are the very best of friends with me, I will fill you with letters of little nothings.

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1 Feb 2012 – Loss of Nordan om Jorden in Virtual SL

I’m pleased to know she is alive, I’m pleased to know she is well, and selfishly, saddened by the loss of the gallery and her point of view. Flora Nordenskiold (or the person behind her keyboard) showed me how to stand firm with grace, as well as exposing me to art I might otherwise not have seen. She supported Art in a very real way. The gallery didn’t just show images, but concepts and ideas … each exhibit invited a dialogue between the creator and the patron. We each became participants in each installation, whether we intended to or not.

I miss the contacts in SL that mean so much to me. IRL, there would have been no chance to even meet them. In SL and other virtual worlds .. one knows by virtue of being there that other avs have several qualities:  open to adventure, willing to try new things, hunger to see and meet cultures from all over (or conversely, find validation for one’s own culture).

Behind the avatar I made that showed the insides RL doesn’t get to see .. the me I am in RL has also developed. One difference in RL is scent .. the other is the ability to reach and physically touch. However, in RL, seldom does anyone let his or her true self be touched .. I guess .. maybe ..

… perhaps it is safer in a virtual world such as Second Life. Or perhaps it only feels safer. At any rate .. I am enriched by the manifestations of others imagination and mind’s visions, as I am also enriched by the interactions with human souls I’d otherwise have never met. I was able to know that tho each of us is unique … that I am not alone.

I wish it were not so easy there to cast off unwanted baggage. Perhaps that is another draw of it, for some. Perhaps some do not leave Second Life so much as they escape it.

<shrug>

Who knows? –vq-

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