Written by MJ Reporter Willow LaMunyoun
I have some advice to share with you. If you have an adult granddaughter who is a teacher and calls you around the time for her to get her classroom ready, don't answer the phone. Did you get that? Don't answer the phone! If you do, you are going to find yourself in for a day of hard labor.
When granddaughters say, "Grandma, I love you," you know you are going to agree to anything they want.
As a happily retired person getting up at 6:AM is something I don't do, but it's part of that granddaughter thing. My Daughter-in-Law, Karla, drove her truck into my driveway promptly at 7:30 AM. My granddaughter, Tiffney, and her fiancée Anthony were also there and looking way too happy for early morning.
The classroom was sparkling clean but lacked the welcoming atmosphere that second graders need. We were there to fix that. Anthony brought out boxes and boxes of books that I was to put in order on low shelves that ran across an entire wall. I THOUGHT Tiffney said I was to put the books across the wall of shelves. Well, thank goodness for that. The books could be spread out enough to make it easy for the students to find what they wanted.
Karla and Anthony started decorating the room while our leader, Teacher Tiffney, attended a meeting. I discovered putting what was beginning to look like hundreds of books in order was no job for wimps, especially when bending down to reach the low bookshelves. After sorting the first thousand books, it occurred to me that I was doing it all wrong. The order had to be according to topic and books in a series put together. Within these groups, alphabetical order should be used. I started over and was finished with the first half-million books when Tiffney returned from her meeting. She started doing all kinds of teacher stuff right away. As she worked, I realized that what we were doing was our small part in creating the future.
All teachers hold the future in the open minds of the children in their classes. When Tiffney grows old, the small ones she and all the teachers of today are guiding will be the leaders who make the laws of the land.
They will be the men and women who learned under the guidance of today's teachers. No matter what their occupation, their work will be necessary. Our future leaders will all come from the same place—children's classrooms. The men and women who make the decisions that affect our lives are now the little scholars who can't reach the top of a full-size desk. The men and women who keep our streets clean, serve us, entertain us, teach yet another generation are now learning how to run the world. The praise of a teacher will someday be the confidence of tomorrow's doctors and builders, and chefs.
I couldn't help but feel very proud of the young woman trying to move a heavy file cabinet to the other side of her desk. With the help of Anthony and Karla, the job was completed as with the help of others, the heavy burden of showing the children of today how to make tomorrow shine.
Finally, it was time to break for lunch which went way too fast. Tiffney showed Karla and Anthony what she wanted to be done with three walls, leaving me to the fourth wall of bookshelves. After a few more hours, I sat down feeling proud that I had finally put the near billion books on the shelves in order.
Tiffney saw me relaxing and asked if I was taking a break. I responded with a proud of myself, "I'm finished."
The moment of being willing to do anything to have normal hearing had come when she reminded me that she told me to put all the books on one bookshelf at the end of the walI. I had been sure she said to put them on all the shelves.
I was exhausted, and my back was hurting. I guess it must have shown because those three beautiful people somehow managed to get the books all on the one bookshelf. That had to be an engineering miracle to allow them to fit. Sure, my organization was ruined, but at that point, I didn't care. After all, second graders wouldn't notice, I hoped.
Next year I am definitely not answering the phone when Tiffany calls.