Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some Owed Hakoras Hatov

The students I teach have sometimes come in for some rather stringent remarks here. Yes, there are some areas that they could definitely use improvement in. But I realized tonight that there are also some things that I have gotten recently from my students that I could not/would not get from students in a secular college setting.

The last few weeks have been something of a strategic nightmare for me. My mom had emergency surgery and is now in a rehab facility, and I had to take a night off from work. As if that were not enough I came down with pneumonia and was out of work for a week. The after affects are still lingering on. There were other issues that popped up unbidden relating to health, home, work and family. And then there was "regular" life that galloped along at a frantic pace.

I don't share every detail of my personal life with my students but when they asked why I had been absent I told them briefly. And that is where they showed me that some things they had learned/been taught have taken root and grown beautifully. Every student who asked and was told that my mother was ill offered a "refuah sh'laimoh." And it wasn't just the first night. Some asked for her Hebrew name so that they could daven for her complete recovery.There are still students who walk into class and ask how my mom is feeling. One student took it upon himself to go to the home and visit with my mom She was not in her room so he stayed for a few minutes and visited with others who were on her floor, asking if he could bring someone a hot drink or get something for them. Another student was perceptive enough to ask how I was holding out through all of this.

And yes, my voice still gets strained from talking 6 hours straight, so thank you for the students who ask if I'm doing okay, who profer a sucking candy, and thanks to the students who got me a drink of water and who asked if they could go out and get me a tea or coffee.

And yes, thank you to the students who leave class on Wednesday night and who also leave wishing me a gutten Shabbos. And thanks to the students who send me email messages and queries on a Thursday or Friday and always sign those emails with "have a good Shabbos."

The students I taught/teach in secular colleges are also nice people, but their concerns end at the classroom door. What I do outside of class, what is going on in my life outside of class, well, that is my private life and not a topic that requires action on their part. But for my students in my "frum" college, well, they've shown me that the midos they were taught weren't just put into their memory banks and forgotten about. And for that I thank them, and publicly. Yes, they really are good people who practice what has been preached to them.

And yes, fellas, I appreciate your concern that I may be overtaxing myself, but the assignment is still due next Monday.


Anonymous said...

Definitely some advantages to working in a frum environment. When I was teaching PS when I walked into class the days before Pesach looking like I hadn't slept in days (because I hadn't) my students were oblivious. When I taught in day school my students recognized that look and knew better than to start up in class.

Anonymous said...

I think it is also a sign of what they think of you. But I agree you wouldn't get all this in a secular environment. I don't!