Bird Droppings January 16, 2014
Trying to understand friendship
Another cold day in Georgia and a near huge full moon last night and soon I get to head to school a bit early. Being out of synch from the past holiday an extra day for the weekend may not help. I generally start each morning with writing, this has been a very relaxing part of my day and as I got up to start I was sort of out of sync this morning congested from the dry heat of our gas heating system and maybe just lying in bed a bit longer than normal pondering the day ahead. We have advisement today and I often wonder why they call trying to talk with teenager’s advisement?
I am now sitting at my writing table checking my plants; I have several tropical salvias started and some strange succulent that I got from our school green house for free. I am starting the day a little bit later than I normally due by pondering on a weekend of events and happenings up coming. One I need to seriously sit and think about that has been going through my head since a talk with a good friend yesterday who happens to be Muslim and a book I am reading about Archie Fire Lame Deer a Sioux holy man and shaman.
My friend and I discuss politics, religion, people in general and life on a regular basis other than recently when he took three weeks of vacation to go to Bangladesh to see his family. Yesterday he was talking and made a statement about his own faith and how he believes he is correct in his understanding through Islam of God. As I am reading a Sioux account of life and Waken Tanka, the great mystery it is interesting coming from a Christian upbringing and background how it seems everyone considers their faith to be correct. But this is food for more diagrams, thinking and some deep pondering. Although the full moon and clear sky had me leaning in favor of Archie Fire Lame Deer winning the discussion if it were held today in the twilight of a new morning.
Another subject which has for many years kept me thinking and one day I need too for a research project investigate new teachers. I am always amazed the first semester they are interesting as they come in excited and exuberant. I listen each day to my oldest son a new teacher and his trials and tribulations. Some keep it going and continue while others burn out all too quickly and I can see in his eyes some day’s great desire and others defeat. I noticed as I came in young teachers were beating me in and I am usually one of the first to school each day, I am the often first there each day according to sign in. It has been good seeing old friends and making new ones the past few weeks of a new school semester. It seems each day students past and future show up at the door to say hello or be shown my crazy room.
“If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love friends for their sake rather than for our own.” Charlotte Bronte
Nearly thirteen years ago as we went through that first morning back to school, some teacher’s call it the annual PEP rally which used to be put on by the county office, they showed a film entitled FISH, it is about being excited and having fun at what you do. It was about involving people and choosing your own attitude.
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend — or a meaningful day.” Dalai Lama
I have a good friend who has shown the same movie to a similar crowd and they had a hard time understanding it then and they still have a hard time understanding it today. I was once asked by students why do I teach. My first response was because it is fun. Many former students came by daily before school and it is always interesting to note what questions are asked and what stories remembered. I was talking with my friend yesterday when several former students walked up and with those two my first question was “not in jail right now” and they joked about how they had not been in several months. But there very next question was, Mr. Bird is your room still crazy and do you still have Stevie the wonder snake? Somehow even tiny pieces make an impression be it holding a ball python or even seeing a ball python for the first time.
“A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I watched people pass by in the hallway daily each person is unique many are smiling, some are sad, others are laughing, maybe even some are joking about what I may never know. Why I am here makes sense now, perhaps we can make a difference no matter how small.
“Everybody needs one essential friend.” Dr. William Glaser
I find Dr. Glasser often has interesting thoughts as I sit and think we all need someone somewhere to bounce ideas off and to be able to be truthful with and to discuss openly ideas and thoughts. One of the other books I am reading is written about students views of teachers and education and it opens with a student written, advertisement to hire a teacher. That stuck with me, another good one might be an ad for a friend, but what would we write in that?
“Friendship needs no words…” Dag Hammarskjöld
As I saw that quote the reality of friendship hit, there are no definitions really that define friendship adequately. I watch people on various websites using BFF and BF and various abbreviations for friend, but as I sit here thinking there is no abbreviation in reality for a real friend. It is difficult to understand friendship, for in defining a friend it also implies how we go through life and seek our way in this journey and those are crucial pieces of who we are. A quick note on a bright cold and humid Georgia morning with yesterday the birthday of a great man please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and above all always give thanks.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)