Sunday, March 5, 2017


Way back in 1981-82 I was teaching 4 year-old kindergarten for Salem Private, a Baptist church run school.  There were several 4 and 5 year-old kindergartens run by Salem Private, scattered throughout Salem, Oregon.  Mine was in a church close to where we lived.

One of the 19 students in that class was a little blond girl named Mary.  I've forgotten her last name.  She had the most spectacular melt-down that I've ever seen in a student.  It was time for us to sit in a circle on the floor for one of our daily activities and Mary did not want to participate.  When I insisted, she had a total fit, screeching and flailing around.  The other children were stunned into silence.  What to do!

I took a chance and told the children to wait quietly in the room and took Mary to a little storeroom next door to hold her, soothe her and calm her down.  It didn't take too long and we were able to return to the classroom.  Obviously the sit-down circle didn't happen that day.  We simply went on to another activity.

That evening I called Mary's mother and explained what had happened.  She didn't seem disturbed about it.  I suppose Mary did that sometimes at home, too.

At the end of the school year Mary presented me with a gift: this cheerful coffee mug:

This cheerful mug has been my daily coffee mug for lo, these 36 years!  I suppose it has fallen a few times, but it endures!  If it ever breaks, I will miss it greatly.  Who can't feel cheerful starting the day with a good cup of coffee from a mug like this?

And most times when I drink my coffee I think of Mary, who is now a mature woman of 40 years.  I would just love to see her now.

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