Okay, so I know 'truest' is not a word.
When Amy came to my classroom after being in Haiti, she spoke about reunited families, healing bones, and inspirational quotes. I know that Haiti is mostly not like that. I was stunned by how well she composed herself to give the children a gift... news of a tragedy tempered with grace. Preserving at least a little innocence, for now.
Kids are never, never fooled. I've been teaching one kid or another since 1993. All of them are 'onto' us adults!! Despite Amy's grace and delicacy, my students gave me reflections that let me know that they understood the most true (truest), underlying issues that arise in human loss and pain.
Here they are...
G.L. girl, 4th grade:
“is being to Haiti a sad exserence (experience)? She wanted to cry we have to much almost everybody here has a job out of 10 people 8 do not have a job. Why? the D. R. has more land than haiti. Why? thay shoud have eqaul emouts of the Island why don’t thay? Why is money so scarce?”
J.T. boy, 4th grade:
“I felt sorry for the people of Haiti and how hard they got hit. One family had everyone with a broken bone. That doesn’t leave you to talking about a good day in bed. or as of Haiti, no bed”
D.J. boy, 4th grade:
“In the morning, Mrs. Glover came to our school to talk about the earthquake in Haiti. She worked in a hospital in Haiti to help people recover from injuries they had. She also told us about how she was planning to adopt three kids from Haiti, when the earthquake happened. I’m just glad the kids are alright. I liked the story she told us about Edison. But I wasn’t happy when she told us she only could have only 2 xrays. when she needed 3 for each person. I’m glad some people survived the earthquake.”
C.G. boy, 4th grade:
“I thought it was cool how Ms. Glover knew how lespwa fe’ la vie ment Hope is/from life.”
“I also thought it was cool that she got to know eddeson who couldn’t find his father. So they got the idea of going on tv. Then they took pictures of eddeson and took the photographs to a tv station. The next day they took eddesons cast off and started rubbing lotion onto his leg when his father walked into the room.”
O.C. girl, 4th grade:
“What Mrs. Glover said was awe-inspiring. Her stories made me want to go to Haiti and help anyone I could. I couldn’t imagine a month or more with a broken leg, with not a lot of help. What she said was great, and if those people can survive an earthquake like that, they must be really strong and I bet they are.”
C.C. boy, 4th grade:
“When Mrs. Glover came, I realized I take a bunch of stuff for granted I have a wonderful life. All these poor people in Haiti have such a worse time then me and I have also learned to always have hope. All the people in Haiti have Broken bones, lost fingers and cracked their heads and barely cry when I whimper when I get scratched! I want to be strong like the people in Haiti and have hope! Like a saying of theirs Lespwa Fe’la vie (hope from life).”
May we be as wise as the children! May news of suffering in Haiti help us see what is true in this world. May it sink into our minds, hearts and actions.