Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shredded Cocos Nucifera

The other day Olivia walked in the door after school and announced with such conviction in her voice, "I'm so done with Mrs. Redfoot!" "Ah," I replied, "then it's a good thing that you only have five more days with Mrs. Redfoot." "But Mom, what if I don't like my second grade teacher?" "Olivia, it's impossible not to like your second grade teacher..."

I then proceeded to share with her that even though she's loved Mrs. Redfoot as her Kindergarten AND First Grade teacher, second grade is going to be an even bigger adventure! Her school 'loops'. For the first two years - same teacher - same students - trying to give them some stability I guess. It works for most of the children and has worked well for Olivia up until this last month when she's just decided that she's "done."

After reading Margie's post it reminded me of what a friend recently shared with me. Studies are showing that it's not the "nurturing years" (from birth to age five) that shape our personality so much as it is age 7-9 (what would be 2nd grade.) Apparently, what happens in our lives at that age rather than the earlier years is far more important in helping to determine what kind a person we will be.

Interestingly, I've heard many people remark how memorable 2nd grade was to them. Margie, for one, shares of her beloved Mrs. Bacile. And I fondly remember Mrs. Levine - one of my favorite teachers - hands down.

Mrs. Levine brought in a REAL coconut in the BIG, outer shell and drilled a hole and poured out the milk so we could all taste its fabulous sweetness. (not so good - but different and interesting none-the-less.) All the while teaching us such interesting facts as how a coconut is also known by its scientific name: Cocos Nucifera. Wow! Until then, I had no idea that things had scientific names! Then she cracked it open and we all tried the coconut meat. That whole thing fascinated me since prior to that I only remembered seeing coconut shredded and in a plastic bag.

To this day, I love coconut. I thought of Mrs. Levine fondly while in the Dominican Republic several years ago on a missions trip. One of the men living next door to the school where I was painting, one afternoon climbed a palm tree in his bare feet and cut down a coconut with his machete for us to enjoy. And years prior, in college, I obtained a coconut from somewhere and mailed it to someone - no box - just a coconut - with an address written on the outer shell with a Sharpie Marker - and some taped on stamps - just for fun. I used to mail all types of strange things...and then there was the time that I received a package of DEAD FISH..(you'll have to ask Char about that!!)...but...I digress...

Of course, it wasn't just the coconut that endeared me to Mrs. Levine. She was fun, full of wisdom and interesting facts and able to keep Richard Ambrosia from flicking boogers on everyone! In my book - she was tops!

I've explained to Olivia that second grade is going to be one of the best years of her school life. She'll have a new classroom filled with some new friends and perhaps some old friends and most importantly, she'll start fresh with a new teacher! Someone who will take her on a great learning adventure and share with her all their knowledge and wisdom and probably will also have the superpower of stopping booger-flicking! Second grade is gong to be grand! And we've got the whole summer to get excited about how wonderful it's going to be!

Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
-Deuteronomy 32:2


Constance said...

I am WAY behind on my blog visiting! I guess I didn't realize that your O is in the 1st grade just like our Jelly Bean! Duh! Where have I been? My mind has turned to mush apparently filled with the overwhelming preparations for Charlies graduation next week! YIKES!

Girlfriend! You have a beautiful voice! Since bloggerville doesn't generally have audio attached, it's something I was unaware of! I have always wished I had a beautiful voice or could play some kind of instrument. Sigh, I guess God made me this way for a reason! I guess the world needs a laugh every now and then!

I'm glad your man is doing fine! Last year Dave had to wear a heart monitor for 30 days because he had some issues. Naturally, it didn't record a single heart-racing incident! He just got a reminder for his follow up visit. Will he go? He is a man after all so prob not!

Char said...

That's wild, I was just telling someone about the DEAD FISH incident this morning!!!

Terry said...

dear deb...although it will be a new experience for olivia, grade two..i think that her first five years of yours and brillo man's teaching her is what is really important.
i am sure that you have had to correct her but at the same time you have given her credit and praised her in what she has much for such a young age.

grade two is a difficult class, just as grade 7 is. it seems that what you have to learn is so much, but if olivia is blessed with such a teacher as yours, i know that she will excel.
i remember that when i was in grade two, although mrs. graham wasn't my teacher , she gave betty and i tickets to a ballerina show and it was a high point in my young life of where i could see the true beauty in this.
you know, just like your coconut experience, these seemly small acts of kindness by really caring teachers never do you forget, and in fact just like you did now deb you have brought it up and hugged the precious memory again and have made a really heart warming usual though! terry

Margie said...

Mrs. Bacile sent me a message on FACEBOOK!!! I was thrilled!! she said she even remembered me, she said some things that even made me believe her!!

Tell Miss O that you'll never forget your elementry teachers... some you remember fondly, and some... not so much!

Trish said...

My second grade teacher was a of course it holds no fond memories for me. She hit me and she hit me hard...Some boy, was pestering me in reading group and well, I received the brunt of her anger. My favorite teacher would be My 6tth grade teacher, Mrs. Kopcynski. She was Awesome!!!
Miss Olivia is growing up before our eyes...sigh.

Diane said...

My second grade teacher was one of my all time favorites! She was Mrs. Black and was absolutely wonderful! She fostered my need for a better self image and was so instrumental in me developing a love of reading. I am so excited for Olivia and for you!

Many hugs.........


Jada's Gigi said...

My second grad was weird...nuff said. Olivia will most likely love hers! :)
How does Connie know you have a great voice? I wanna hear!

Mrs. Mac said...

I don't so much remember second grade ... but oh, third grade, Mrs. Barber and having us make a woven wool Indian blanket on a loom, create an entire farm on the floor made out of paper mache veggies was the best. I had her for fourth grade ... we studied about Japan and Hawaii ... my tapa cloth made from paper ... aaah, Deb, you bring back some good memories.

Pat said...

I think I loved all my elementary grade teachers, some more then others...oh wait, I just remembered Miss Walton...didn't care for her. She was old, mean and had no humor. You have to have humor if your a teacher!
It's such a mix of feelings to go on to the next grade, Ms. O. will be her outgoing, loving self and will savor every minute of it, just like I savor coconut! YUM!

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Terry said...

happy anniversary
happy anniversary
happy anniversary
happy annnniverrrsary deb and brillo man!
have a great day of terry

eight years,eh?