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Week 4: Fool's Gold

September 10, 2018

                      When you have been as sick as I have been this weekend, there isn't much to do but sit around in your pajamas, sleep, lament being sick and read good books, of course.  I have actually been sick all week.  Some of you surely noticed (even though each of you were kind enough not to mention it- thank you- but it would have also been okay if you had) as my face started swelling Wednesday after the storm that blew through, blew up my allergies with it, or so I thought.  By Thursday evening I was in urgent care with a sore throat.  The strep test was negative, and I was super happy or so I thought.  I went to school Friday feeling like a girl on the mend, only to have my symptoms worsen by Friday night.  So, we made our second trip to the ER, this time with my son in tow who was now running a fever. 

 

                We were both given antibiotics, but the weekend has been rough to say the least.  I have never had so much pain in my throat and so much swelling in my face.  I still have no idea what it is. With RA, I do not fight off illness like an average person.  I am now thinking tonsillitis, but after two days of rest, I can finally swallow and am hoping to return to school tomorrow. 

 

    All of this to say, during my down time, I finally finished the book Educated that I started two weeks ago.  This makes my second read for the school year.  I hope you guys are holding to your pledges as well.  I am going to shoot for 20 books this school year (2 or more per month), but I think it will be hard to top this book.

 

             It was a nonfiction book about a Mormon girl who went to BYU at 17 against her parents wishes.  Prior to going to college, she had never had any formal education (not even home schooling).  After BYU, she went to Cambridge, where a professor told her she was pure gold. She found this difficult to believe, as she had never felt like anything more than the backwards, uneducated Mormon girl who would never amount to much. 

 

           I am not sure if any of you can relate to this, but I want to tell you that I can, and if we are being honest, all of us have probably felt inadequate or unworthy at times, like we don't quite measure up to others. 

 

            I love what her professor told her: You are not fool's gold.  You never were.  What you are is what you have always been: pure gold.  This week I watched you guys participate in a silent discussion regarding the short story, "Eleven."  You moved around from chart to chart and wrote your thoughts regarding the text on paper.  Even when the discussion led into the hallway with little to no adult supervision, you guys adhered to the expectations I had set in place. None of you so much as uttered a word.  I haven't told you this yet, but three teachers said they saw you guys in the hallway and wanted to know what you all were doing and why you were all so quiet.  They could not believe it.  I could.  You guys really are an exceptional group, and I do not say that flippantly, even though I could.  When I tell you that you are unique and special, I really, really mean it.  If it were not so, why would I be spending the last few minutes of my painfully depressing weekend writing a blog to you-for you?

 

          I could say more, even about how you guys stepped up to the challenge of bright ideas and out of the box thinking when it came to our first day with our community based project teams.

 

            Gosh, I am just so excited about this project with you guys I can hardly contain my enthusiasm,  but at the end of all of my bragging,  you all might start to think I was just stroking your ego. 

 

                 So instead, I will just end with the words of the professor.

 

          If there was ever any doubt in your mind, Octavia (not Olivia...I will never forgive myself for that slip or yours either Kaden), Justin Martinez, or Gabe Scallion, or Landry Hadder, Caitlin Proper,  Laura Gaines, Alex Taylor,  Ty Pitts,  Ryker Brooks, or Lexi Hilliard, or any of the other 70 students I have this year,  you are not fool's gold.  You never were. 

 

         You have always been real gold, and I hope more than anything, I can help you see this and believe it this year because once you know it...really know it...everything changes.

 

 

Still Panning for Gold After All These Years,

 

Mrs. Bell

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