As an educator, you often get asked an off the cuff question, “Why did you become a teacher?” In fact, just the other day my daughter asked me that very question. Seems like I should have a obligatory answer packed away in my psyche somewhere, but I never have truly been able to nail it. There are the moments, though when it’s clear. Last Monday night was one of them.
The school had received an email from a Deacon at the Masonic Lodge asking if we had an outstanding student we would like to recognize at a dinner. The student would receive an award and the teachers were invited to speak on his or her behalf. It is a monthly dinner and this month was Chilton’s turn. One student immediately came to mind: Ravina.
Trusting my GPS to lead me into old Roseville in the pouring rain, I managed to find the lodge near the old theater on historic Vernon Street. I forget this part of Roseville still exists, near the train tracks that founded this city. I climbed the old stairs of the building and entered the hall. There sat Ravina and her family, greeting me with the warmest of welcomes.
The Masons had cooked a fabulous corned beef dinner, apparently for two days, (we sat with the cook) and it was absolutely delicious. Ravina wasn’t as keen on the food as the rest of us, but luckily they served ice cream and brownies for dessert. Visiting with her parents and brother, it was evident why Ravina is such an amazing young lady.
Then came the time for the recognition. Ravina and I were asked to come up to the front, where I had the honor and pleasure of saying a few kind words about her. Now, Ravina is absolutely amazing. Every assignment she ever completes is not only good, but impeccable. She is involved in Leadership, and is always one of the last to leave a function. She stays after to make sure everything is in order. Ravina is also a first class athlete. Most of all, she does it all with a smile on her face. Her positive attitude is infectious. Although, I do admit that I love her even more because she laughs at my jokes.
The Masons awarded Ravina with $50, and even gave me a granite plaque.
It’s these opportunities that help me answer that question of why I became an educator. I get to work with kids like Ravina. It’s just one part of the puzzle, but a part that is vital.
Leaving that night, I realized that I had not only experienced an amazing night as an educator, but I had done something few had ever done: unearthed a secret from a Freemason. I learned that after boiling the corned beef, slather it with brown sugar and spicy brown mustard. Delicious!