Monday, January 12, 2009

Thank God, It's Monday

My mentor Larry Philpot (see preceding entry) once delivered an address to teachers at an AVID conference entitled, "Thank God, It's Monday." He said that AVID teachers were those kind of teachers, the ones who looked forward to going to school each week, even Mondays. I have to say, it's not far from the truth. I have enjoyed going to school every year for thirty-seven years. Some are better than others, of course, but I still like it, even this year.

Today started out great, even for a Monday.

A parent stopped me in the parking lot to tell me her son, an 11th-grader whom I taught for several years, asked her if it was true that I was leaving at the end of this schoolyear. She told him it was, and he asked, "Can't she stay just one more year?" (To see him graduate, maybe?)

A few minutes later, a colleague told me my new haircut made me look at least fifteen years younger! Woo-hoo! (And this was in the rain and wind!)

I saw the principal in our hallway; he may have even come in my room, a rare appearance but a nice one.

In first period Honors English 10, a boy came up to my desk and said, "How do you fill this stapler?" I have a very cool battery-operated one the kids love. I showed him, and he told me had brought me some very cool blue staples to put in it, which he proceeded to do. He said, "I have these staples but no stapler, so I am giving them to you."

The seniors in AP Lit seemed to really, really like the novel we just finished, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and we had a lively discussion.

All of these little things made me smile, and it's why I still like Mondays.


  1. Sounds like you had a great Monday. Good for you! What? No photo of the blue staples?

  2. Penny Penick Ten PasFebruary 13, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    Oh my....I did not know that Mr. Westrum had died...I'm very sad. I don't know if you remember my dad, Fred Penick, but he helped the students to build the satellite station at Hall H.S. in 1982 - the year after I had graduated (just a little plug for my dad).
    My dad hadn't complete the 9th grade. In part because his family moved around a lot, and in part because, until he turned 49 and was diagnosed with dyslexia, my father always felt he was just too stupid to go to school. Lucky for dad, he was smart with his hands. He could, and still does look at something, and will rebuild it with carpentry, welding, or using big equipment.
    My dad did a lot of building work for the Marching Band, and when I was a senior, I had asked Mr. Westrum for more information about what dyslexia was. Walt had seen a lot of the work my dad had done, and was familiar with all the help he had in get the Athletic Boosters going back in the 70's when my brother played football for Hall.
    My dad was excited to tell Walt about the programming he was able to pick up on this Satellite dish he had built from scratch. One thing led to another, Walt came to visit our "dish"...which was massive at about 15 feet across, and asked dad if he could help the school build one....and so the story goes. Walt presented my dad with the Mentor Graham award (Graham was a mentor to Pres. Abraham Lincoln) dad was on top of the world that day...and when Time Life Magazine did an interview with him....that was just the tops...and all because of Walt Westrum seeing something in somebody...he really made my dad feel like he was somebody, and for that I will always be grateful....thanks for the memory jolt...R.I.P. Mr. Westrum...your memory lives on....