Learning is Beautiful [STUDENT GUEST POST]



First, a story I read a while back. I forget who wrote it originally.

There was a man who was stranded during Hurricane Katrina on the top of his house. It was just him and his dog, alone on the rooftop waiting to be saved.This man's story seemed to have a happy ending when a rescue boat showed up and offered him and his dog a ride to safety. The old man smiled and shouted back "Thanks, but I'm waiting on God to send me a miracle!" A few hours later, a neighbor in a small paddle boat was making her way towards safety and offered a spot in her boat. The old man waved gleefully at his neighbor and responded "It's OK! God will save me with a miracle!" Days go by and the old man begins to get desperate, wondering when God will send this miracle. Finally, a helicopter arrives to save the man. When the rescuer lowers himself to the roof, the old man thanks him, but tiredly informs him that he is waiting for God to send a miracle and save him.

Days pass and the old man passes away on his rooftop. When he arrives in heaven, he is totally distraught, asking God why he didn't save him with a miracle despite the old man's great faith. God, throwing his hands into the heavenly air, exasperated, replies, "I sent two boats and a helicopter! What more did you want??"

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Sometimes we have to work hard for the great things, the wonderful moments that make teaching worth all the nonsense. Often we have to work hard. Really hard. Other times, those great moments come up and smack you right in the face, and we simply have to be paying enough attention to take advantage of them.  The young woman whose writing you are about the read is the latter. Unlike the old man in the story, I'm listening!

Aleyda  Dominguez is a sophomore student of mine this year. She is of Honduran descent, moving to America with her family when she was 6 years old. Aleyda joined my class at the beginning of this semester, but immediately fit in with the class and became a great example for other students to follow. She has shown herself to be driven and curious, outgoing but mature. I wish dearly that I could claim to have known her for more than 6 weeks so I could take credit for some of her wonderfulness, but I cannot. 

Aleyda Dominguez
Aleyda came up to me the other day and complimented me on my blog. I thanked her and told her that if she was ever interested in writing a student post, I'd be open to the idea. Within the week, she had submitted a draft to me that was beautifully composed. A couple tweaks and several emails later, here we are.

I am excited beyond words to get to know and teach Aleyda more and to get to see her grow from this point forward. I told her that I think we may have a teacher in the making - I hope so. The world needs more good people teaching. 

Below is Aleyda's post, published with her permission. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Learning is Beautiful

Being from Honduras, I have come to appreciate not just the teachers here in the U.S, but the overall school environment. Compared to the schools in my country, schools in the U.S are mini Harvards. The school I attended was a long building with open doors and windows that housed grades K-6. The lessons taught were much different than that of the usual school lessons in the U.S. In 2nd grade writing, we were taught strictly cursive writing. We would be given lined paper and red pen, and were made to draw a series of loops, each had to be the same size and same distance away from the previous loop. When I got to 2nd grade in the U.S, the lessons in writing never involved me writing anything in cursive, and I studied more than one subject at a time. I enjoyed learning from a young age, seeing how it allowed me to overcome many burdens.

In my opinion, the simple action of learning is a beautiful thing. It has allowed me to break communication barriers in a country different from my own, and allowed me to find so many different catalysts for expressing myself, my ideas, and beliefs. The idea of gaining information that is new and foreign to my own, is a fascinating subject to me. From learning about what it means to “sauté onions” to the meaning of “laissez-faire”, I am an information junkie. I would like to say this a great skill to have for a high school sophomore. Without this skill, I would be mute in a country filled with loud mouthed politicians, and highly opinionated public figures.

Another aspect of learning that fascinates me is the fact that it is not limited to a classroom, or any school building. Learning can occur anywhere at any time, in regards to any subject. Learning has no boundaries. It is a never ending road, leading to advances in a broad spectrum of concerns.

 I admire those who teach and never stop learning. Teaching is a skill that takes mastery in all its aspects. From finding different ways to deliver information to various individuals, to having such a great understanding of what is being taught that any question asked has an answer. Teachers are incredible individuals, each with a purpose that is much underrated. Teachers are the support behind future leaders and are the overall articulation of encouragement. 

Aleyda Dominguez-Martinez
Click here if you would like to contact Ms. Dominguez via email
Class of 2017