Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thoughts in Prose and Haiku

My father, he should live and be well, taught me so many important lessons in my life and I am forever grateful.  He taught me the importance of perseverance, loyalty, dedication, financial stability, family, religion, and even more.  This comes to mind at the end of a self structured Sunday filled with work week preparation and anticipation.  Life and earning a living are not always easy, my dad and my life taught me that. And yet, thank G-d, I'm blessed with a meaningful, fulfilling, holy job.

This year, as has been the case for the past 15, I have been asked by many Juniors to write one of their 6 teacher recommendation that will be used by the school for one college letter of recommendation from the school. It's work, but it's also pleasure.  Phoebe Weisbrot of the college guidance office once told me that to write a good recommendation you have to see the good and to see the good it helps to imagine that the student was your child.  I've always remembered that.

The students get a list of questions that they answer to help the teacher write about them.  The information they're asked to provide is about how they did in the class, etc. It sometimes ends up that the student writes nice things about the teacher, which can be flattering, and yet doesn't always give you what you need to help write a better letter about this person.  I try, as often as possible, to meet with the student, as a way of learning more about them for the recommendation - and it's generally a meaningful meeting. This year, Laura Miller tweaked the questions for the kids and what they've written has been better than ever. This year, as always, they've written some nice things about me, particularly in answer to the question, "Tell why you selected the above named teacher to write a recommendation for you." (It's meant to evoke their sharing about their efforts in the class yet they answer this and other questions as honestly as they can based on how they understand what they're being requested to share and interesting things come out.

I feel like I've been quiet here on the blog lately. I've been trying to live life more than writing about it (here).  Sundays are lonely and I've been working pretty hard today, so I'm writing a bit now as a break.  And I'm also going to give myself a break and share a bit of praise that I need to take in.

"Tell why you selected the above named teacher to write a recommendation for you."

"I have selected Rabbi Fleischmann to write a letter for me because he is truly one of my favorite teachers. I admire the way he teaches his classes because he does it with such happiness and devotion. He makes the class more interesting by relating to the students' interests, which makes the class very enjoyable. Perhaps most importantly, Rabbi Fleischmann, unlike most teachers, is not afraid to deal with his students on a personal level, and I find this very respectable.  He connects with each student in a way that automatically makes that student feel happier. Overall, Rabbi Fleischmann has made a big impact on me this year and I deeply appreciate everything he has done for me."


It was Mother's Day
I missed my mother today
I miss her daily

Good night and G-d Bless 
I say as I realize
one night will be last


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