Saturday, June 10, 2017

Shrink the Planet, Enlarge the Heart

Hi Teddy (a colleague),

The Algebra unit you donated is going to ArmandoAid, a refugee school on the north side of Athens. I sent the advertisement to the administration of a facebook group that includes 3000 people who help out in different capacities here in the Athens area, and Layhing jumped right on it.

She will pick it up tonight, but unfortunately I'll be teaching and won't be able to meet her.

Thanks for thinking of others--it makes the planet smaller and our hearts bigger. 

I am a strong proponent of writing to discover--and I teach it to my students over and again. It impacted at least one student who was kind enough to write it in beautiful calligraphy. 

When I wrote the note to Teddy and finished it with the idea about the world becoming smaller, I had written and discovered an old idea in a new way, yet it wasn't quite right and it took me several tries until it had a pleasant tone. Finally it became:

When we think of others, it shrinks the planet and enlarges the heart.

 I keep noticing this truth--it's like a popular tune playing on the radio, or on a favorite play list.

Spencer, a student from last year wrote an email asking if I could help his friend in Taiwan with his college essay. Of course, I replied, and answered: Thanks for thinking of others: it shrinks the planet and enlarges the heart. 

With Spencer in Canada, his friend in Taiwan, and me in Greece, all of us collaborating to improve an essay--Indeed the planet has shrunk.

Today I helped to unravel a string of tangled pictures.  Ella had asked her daughter's classmates to draw pictures for the children in the refugee camp. Ella came with a beautiful assortment of bright images made with love. Tony found a ladder and together they strung the messages across the activity center. The children in Holland, Ella in Greece, Tony and I from America, the children in the refugee camp, all a part of the message. Ella was overjoyed that her idea, her efforts, had come to fruition. Indeed the planet shrunk, our hearts enlarged. 

Ecstatic Ella with her messages of love from Holland for the children of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Congo.

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