I am wide awake at 1:30 a.m., concerned that two of my students will not have a nonfiction selection for today’s class. All the other seventh graders had their books yesterday, actually giving me a “real” view of the covers before scurrying to hide behind their avatars.
I quickly send emails to the my two “not yets” and cc the parents, letting them know that their child’s selection is readily available on Kindle (Amazon’s ubiquity comes at a price, I know, but damn…) and that I am concerned because…yesterday.
It’s now 3:30, and I receive this in my school inbox:
Hi Ms. Emerson, No she didn’t get her book. I unfortunately did not see your email and she never told me that she needed It until last night. I was ready to run to Barnes & Noble’s at 6:30 last night when she told me unfortunately they do not have it in stock. I will look for it today or order it, however I was able to download the first 52 pages online. I hope that will suffice for today’s class. Donna
I flash back to my mother, a stay-at-home conductor or our six-piece often cacophonous orchestra, and the numerous times she had an “I need brownies for our class party,” “When?” “Tomorrow” moment. Her ability to improvise: to mend costumes, to find just the right replacement for the perfect blouse that one of us had to wear. “Did you put it down the laundry chute?” “Oops, it’s still bunched on the floor of my closet.” Oh, my mom, if only I could’ve marveled then as I do now that she’s gone.
To that point, students of mine, we couldn’t do this without your parents. We are so lucky to have them! I have always regarded this learning journey I take with middle schoolers-on-loan as a team effort; never has it been more true than during this time, when 3500 miles separate me from them. So, Donna, I thank you—and I only hope your seventh-grade daughter shares the same gratitude.