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WITandWISDOM(tm) - June 29, 2001

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit. - Helen Keller

Submitted by Bettie Snyder


Fifteen years spent in the field of education have provided me with many treasured moments. One of the most endearing happened when I was teaching second grade, 10 years ago.

In May of the fourth quarter, I decided to plan something special for the children: a Mother's Day tea. We put our heads together to come up with ideas of how to honor our mothers. We practiced singing and singing songs. We memorized a poem. We made sand candles and wrapped them in hand-stenciled, white paper bags tied with pretty ribbons. We wrote and decorated individual Mother's Day cards.

We decided to hold our tea the Friday before Mother's Day. Each child took home an invitation with an RSVP at the bottom. I was surprised and relieved to see that every mother was planning to attend. I even invited my own mother.

Finally, the big day arrived. At 1:45 that afternoon, each child lined up at our classroom door in anticipation of the arrival of his or her mom. As it got closer to starting time, I looked around and my eyes quickly found Jimmy. His mother hadn't shown up and he was looking stricken.

I took my mother by the hand and walked over to Jimmy. "Jimmy," I said, "I have a bit of a problem here and I was wondering if you could help out. I'm going to be really busy introducing our songs and our poem and pouring the punch. I was wondering if you could maybe keep my mother company while I'm busy. You could get her punch and cookies, and give her the candle I made when it's time."

My mom and Jimmy sat at a table with two other mother/child teams. Jimmy served my mom her treats, presented her with the gift I had made, and pulled out and pushed in her chair, just as we had practiced the day before. Whenever I looked over, my mother and Jimmy were deep in conversation.

I tucked that special memory away. Now, 10 years later, I work with students of all ages, educating them about the environment. Last year, I was at a high school to take a senior class on a field trip, and there was Jimmy.

We spent the day in the badlands of Montana. On the way back, I had the students complete an outline of the day's events, a short test and an evaluation of our trip. As I collected the student booklets, I checked them to see that everything was complete.

When I came to Jimmy's evaluation page, he had written, "Remember our Mother's Day tea we had in the second grade, Mrs. Marra? I do! Thanks for all you did for me and thank your mother, too."

As we began unloading at the school, Jimmy made sure he was the last one to go. I told him I really enjoyed what he had written. He looked rather embarrassed, mumbled his own thanks, and then turned to walk away. As my sub driver began pulling away from the curb, Jimmy ran back and knocked on the bus door. I thought he had forgotten something. He jumped back on board and gave me a big hug. "Thanks again, Mrs. Marra. No one even knew my mom didn't make it!"

I ended my work day with a hug from a teenage boy who had probably stopped hugging teachers years ago.

By Nancy Noel Marra

From: Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, by Canfield, Jack (editor); Rogerson, Maida (editor); Rutte, Martin (editor), Published by Health Communications, Inc., Copyright (c) October 1996, ISBN: 155874424X http://isbn.nu/155874424X/price

Source: Inspire, http://www.inspirelist.com/

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Cinderella Grants All Wishes, Almost!

After watching the movie Cinderella, five-year-old Sarah started using her pinwheel as a magic wand, pretending she was a fairy godmother. "Make three wishes," she told her mother, "and I'll grant them."

Her mom first asked for world peace. Sarah swung her wand and proclaimed the request fulfilled. Next, her mother requested for a cure for all ill children. Again, with a sweep of the pinwheel, Sarah obliged. The mother, with a glance down at her rather ample curves, made her third wish, "I wish to have a trim figure again."

The miniature fairy godmother started waving her wand madly. "I'll need more power for this!" she exclaimed.

Source: The Funnies, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/andychaps_the- funnies


At one Army base, the annual trip to the rifle range had been canceled for the second year in a row, but the semi-annual physical fitness test was still on as planned.

One soldier mused, "Does it bother anyone else that the Army doesn't seem to care how well we can shoot, but they are extremely interested in how fast we can run?"

Source: Kitty's Daily Mews, Copyright (c) 1997-2001 All rights reserved worldwide, http://www.katscratch.com

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

What's the difference between an analog and digital recording?

With analog technology a wave is recorded or used in its original form. In an analog tape recorder, a signal is taken straight from the microphone and laid onto tape. The wave from the microphone is an analog wave, and therefore the wave on the tape is analog as well. That wave on the tape can be read, amplified and sent to a speaker to produce the sound. With digital technology, however, the analog wave is sampled at some interval, and then turned into numbers that are stored in the digital device. On a CD, the sampling rate is 44,000 samples per second. So on a CD, there are 44,000 numbers stored per second of music. To hear the music, the numbers are turned into a voltage wave that approximates the original wave. The big advantage of digital technology are that the recording does not degrade over time - as long as the numbers can be read, you will always get exactly the same wave.

Source: ArcaMax Trivia, http://www.arcamax.com

WITandWISDOM™ Copyright © 1998-2001 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.