books and reading · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · Riverdale · teaching · writing

A Little Hope

I miss teaching High School English. I miss the kids and their crazy stories. I miss the teachers and the constant gossip. I miss knowing deep down that no matter how horrible the day was, I made a difference.

Lucky for me, I get fan mail on a routine basis that seems to suggest I’m still making a difference in the lives of others. I don’t always get to meet the people behind those faceless emails but they sure do make their presence known. For a girl who spends most of her days alone typing away in front of a computer, I sure do feel like I’m being carried on the shoulders of some great, big support system that’s bigger than I can even imagine. It gives me hope.

Speaking of hope, if I wasn’t writing a book about my life, it might get really easy to forget how far I’ve come. Thankfully, my eighth grade English teacher Mr. Peter Miner keeps things in perspective for me. Check out the photograph below from his classroom where he posted my Latina article for all his students to see. Perhaps, I’m giving hope to all those faceless (mostly, Dominican) junior high school students who’ll realize there’s a big world out there just waiting for the grand achievements they will make. (And all I had to do was write a little story!)

I’m kind of a little overwhelmed right now. I didn’t do too much today. (But let’s make this clear to all those naysayers, I do quite a lot on an everyday basis despite what my friends think I’m doing.) I ran a lot of errands. I went to CVS to pick up some prescriptions. I went to the post office to ship the Twilight saga to my cousins in the Dominican Republic. (I’m now reading the saga in Spanish.) I went to the comic book store to pick up the latest issues of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics. And the whole time, I was thinking, wow, I’m feeling pretty lucky to be me and I can’t stop thinking about all the hands that helped me get here.

It was a pretty good day. And this evening should be even better. My eighth grade English teacher is coming up to visit me in Riverdale and he’s bringing the Holocaust survivor I met when I was 13. It goes without saying that I wouldn’t be Jewish if she, Hannelore Marx, hadn’t told her story.

Photo of my article up in Mr. Miner’s classroom.

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