|Crayon Resist Watercolor by Marcia Carole|
Let's start with the hell part of my day. I didn't want to go there, but it just happened in H period. I was told today by my sixth graders that the fifth graders took video and photos of me when I wasn't looking during art class last quarter. I guess I am a celebrity of sorts, only they wanted to mock me because I am a new teacher and a "strict" teacher. They said I was mean. If they only knew me.
I keep wondering what my friend Vickie would do. She would look perfect, and she would be loving and kind. She would say just the right thing at just the right time. Why can't I be more like Vickie? Why can't I be pleasant and agreeable? I wish she was here to help me. Why do I have to be passionate and temperamental?
My heart sank when I heard the news because I knew the fifth graders just took the pictures to make fun of me. Did they post them on You Tube or their Facebook pages and have a good howl? Did they enjoy demeaning a teacher who came all the way from Seattle to teach them art and enjoy their God who gave them the gift of art as well as life and new life?
As the tears fall in the privacy of my little apartment, I think about my nice house in my safe neighborhood, I think of my great school I came from and how much I loved everyone there. I think how they seemed to love me at my former school. Why did I come here? I think of my grandsons hugs. I think of friends at church who actually like me. I think, I must be crazy to be here.
You know, hell is separation from God, which is not my situation, but hell is also separation from each other. I've experienced hell with my ex-husband when he was entangled with many other women, and I was "separated" from him. It was hell. When one of my daughter's would not speak to me because of the divorce... hell was hounding me. When a friend won't talk, it's hell. When I avert my eyes walking down my neighborhood street so Muslim men won't look at me leeringly, it's hell. I can't candy- coat it. Hell is hell.
I showed my sixth graders how to draw faces well in spite of the hellish news. One wanted to know how to draw a caliph, and one wanted me to draw a "covered" woman. I did it with ease and skill, which surprised me. Thank God I kept going in spite of the sharp, stinging news.
I showed them how to make crayon resist paintings and will show you their finished paintings tomorrow. I kept going. I kept giving to them. I kept reaching out to them and loving them. I gave them each two candies as a treat for working so hard. They didn't know my heart hurt so much.
After school, my new friend, Carol, drove me to an open air market and suggested I buy the blushing pears to paint. She helped me find a new shop to buy little items for Christmas presents for family and friends back home. We laughed about the man who tried to sell us apricots for $8.00, but we didn't bite. (We later found out he is an alcoholic and was trying to get money for a good wine.) We hugged our fresh sliced bacon and thanked God for someone willing to sell pork in a Muslim country.
Carol and I exchanged stories and encouraged each other to keep on in this journey we call life and new life in Jesus. Carol has been here four years, and she knows the hell of infidelity. But, she brought me back again to grace, relationship and Heaven this afternoon. It feels good to be back.