These are some of the things that make me happy right now. They are in no particular order.
- On Tuesday, I watched a fifteen year old young woman sit patiently, encourage, and guide an eleven year old girl as she debugged an issue with the code for her robot. She stuck with this girl for a good thirty minutes until the problem was resolved. It was such a generous thing to do.
- On Wednesday, I watched as eleven year olds huddled together helping each other try to figure out how to do new things as they were learning to code. I loved that these kids would jump in and offer help to each other. Watching them together was such a lovely sight.
- A colleague brought his new puppy for a visit during student-led conferences on Friday. Playing with this little Bernadoodle for 20 minutes filled my heart with joy. Time stopped and there was magic in those few minutes.
- During one of my student-led conferences, a toddler tagged along. He discovered the wonder of a funny stuffed elephant in my room that plays music. Every time the music stopped, he piped up “again”. Watching his wonder and joy as he played made me happy. Having the opportunity to see wonder and joy in a child’s eyes is such a gift.
- It is the fall and that means that morning skies are filled with hot air balloons. Looking up into the deep blue sky that is only present in this part of the country and seeing the hot air balloons is one of my favorite things about fall.
- I got a phone call from my daughter who had recently returned from doing pro bono work as a physical therapist in Guatemala. As I listened to her talk about the work she did with a 24 year old man whose spine was injured as a result of gun violence, I could hear the impact she had made in his life and the lives of the other patients that she treated. It makes me happy that I have children who are working to make the world a little better.
- One of my student aides decided that since I bring baked goods for them from time to time, he would bring something for me. It became a bit of a joke that there must be some sort of curse. The first time he tried to bake for me, the oven broke and his parents had to replace it. The second time he tried to bake for me, his fish tank broke and he had to get a new one. I told him he needed to stop trying to bake for me because it was putting a pretty heavy financial burden on his parents. He didn’t listen to me. On Monday, he brought me a package of the best chocolate chip cookies that I have ever eaten. He is an amazing cook and the fact that he wanted to share that with me makes me happy.
- At the beginning of the year, I asked my students to write one thing that makes them smile. It has been such a gift to be able to glimpse into their lives. One of them wrote that it makes him happy to help the homeless. When I first read it, I wondered about it because it is not what one normally sees from an eleven year old boy. As the year has progressed, I have seen the truth in his statement every single day. He is unfailingly generous to everyone that he encounters and he is the happiest kid in the room. It makes me happy to see his truth.