Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Drink Up

I rose bright and early this morning. In fact, it was before six. I didn't need the aroma of fresh coffee or the radio blaring. It was field day. Rather, it was SUPPOSED to be field day. All of our students would be outside running relay races, flaring a parachute, hula hooping and bouncing upon hippity hops. It was to be a day of fun in the sun. All until I stepped outside with my jean capri's on and red and white school t-shirt. Very slowly came the drops, sprinkling upon me and everything else.

I grumbled all the way to school thinking of the fun we would now miss and the looks of disppointment emanating from students' faces. Sprinkles quickly turned to pouring down rain. I thought of my student Christiane. This was to be her very first field day here in America. She came to our school as a new student in September. Yesterday morning she was making her wishes known as she told everyone, "I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow. I can't wait for field day!"

I entered the office to see Coach Ralphie sitting behind the desk. "I was all dressed and as soon as I stepped outside it started to rain," I complained.

"Tell me about it," he commiserated.

"What a bummer! I don't ever remember it raining before," I continued.

"This is the second time in twenty years. Don't worry. We'll get it in tomorrow," he reassured me. Still I was bummed and no doubt the students would be also.

Nine o'clock Christiane and Alicia trudged into my room and each one plopped on to a chair. They both sat pouting. "I'm so mad! I can't believe it rained!" Christiane lamented. Alicia was silent.

"I know. It's a bummer. I don't like it either, but we will have it tomorrow," I explained.

"I don't feel like doing anything," Christiane whined.

Not before long, I found myself presenting them with a choice. A choice I perhaps needed the prompting to realize myself. "I was mad, too. We can sit here and stay mad or we can do something else fun. Being mad isn't going to change the rain," I explained.

Christiane didn't need anytime to think that one over. Immediately she responded with, "Do something else fun."

By 9:05 a.m. the girls were sitting on the mats and we began reading, "Going on a Whale Watch". Five minutes later three other students joined the fun. For the next half an hour they were whales breaching,spouting, and flippering through deep ocean waters.

As I reflect upon this, I know there are tons of circumstances in my own life as well as the world to be utterly discontented with. However, there is also a choice. Each one of us can sit and stew over missed opportunities and fun or we can make some good old fashioned lemonade by adding the sweetness of creativity and optimism.

I must admit, over the past few months I have chosen the lemons without the sugar, but today was different. Today, I can proudly say, we, not just I, but my students also, were able to quickly divert our attention towards warmer waters and make some of that deliciously fresh squeezed lemonade. How about it? Would you like some?

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