Saturday, September 12, 2015

Holiday Projects for Teachers

As I quilt these 'teacher' projects for those who work in the local infant center, my thoughts stretch back into my own student days, both as a child and as an adult. We never know where a particular value is created or, in fact, when we influence another's world view. The pre-schoolers often don't even recognize their teachers outside of the school, so of course, they won't remember their training.

I worked on the Hallows Teacher Mug Rug and used up all the 6.5" squares from last year's swap. Wild, yes, but eventually on its way to a new home.

I can remember a time when we thought that the only things babies did was to eat, poop and sleep. These days, the babies even under 18 months are taught human values (please don't bite, that's not a safe choice, share with your friends), colors, words, numbers, animals, relationships. Well, the list is endless. I suppose I taught those things to my Sons as well because they DID grow up to be men other women can love.

I don't remember all my teachers. Only the ones who stood out for how they behaved, such as my third grade teacher, Mrs. Gonzales, who dressed in swirling skirts, wore a flower in her long dark hair and bright red lipstick framing her smile. She taught us basic Spanish. Then there was my high school English teacher, Mrs. Thiltgen, who, when she walked into the noisy classroom shouted, "I demand pandemonium!" Of course, we were silent because none of us knew what the word meant. Every class with her expanded vocabulary as well as the ability to think critically. Part of her curriculum was to teach us how to write letters and cards and see the meaning in what we bought for that stationary.

Try as I might, I cannot remember the names for my college professors. I do remember the tutoring my algebra professor gave me so I could pass that damn class. Brilliant way of helping me understand the simple formulas. I also remember walking to a nearby soup kitchen with my neuroanatomy professor after having worked on a cadaver brain. I remember classes rather than the people who taught them.

Well, I had to have been influenced by so many women and men in all the classes I took. I read, write, can do simple math in my head, and think critically. I know how to DO so much that someone had to show me the way. Many someones. 

Making these mini quilts for the one teacher to give 6 of her peers in the school is such a small thank you. And yet, I am grateful for them all, even if I have forgotten their names. They don't know specific students any more than most of us remember them. That is the way of life. We touch lives. Our lives are touched. And we go on.