An aside on kindness.

I’m incredibly sick today with a cold that I have not, despite some pretty valiant efforts on my part, been able to shake. I think it’s gotten worse. At any rate, with no voice, an unbelievable sore throat, and a fever, I somehow got myself to work and attempted a pretty hefty lecture on the Concert of Europe, the “Metternich system,” and post-Napoleonic European continental diplomacy. Remember, I have NO voice. I pantomimed, performed, and wrote and drew on the board (my handwriting is abysmal), and somehow got us through the majority of the information. Then about 5 minutes before the scheduled end of class, I realized I could go no further and said as much to my class as I unceremoniously collapsed into my chair. They applauded! I could hardly believe it, although I did take a bow. They made me feel so happy to have come in today and attempt what was probably the worst lecture in my 10 years of teaching.  Their appreciation turned a pretty miserable morning into a perfectly wonderful one.

But that’s not all, as the students packed up their books and headed out the door, one of my students, Amy, reached into her lunch bag and handed me a bag of fresh star fruit, saying that it would help my throat. What a kind gesture.

It’s amazing what a little kindness can do. And she was right, my throat does feel better.

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9 thoughts on “An aside on kindness.

  1. I love when my students surprise me — with kindness, with insight, with enthusiasm. Days like these make teaching worthwhile, perhaps because they remind us that it’s not us against them, it’s all of us teaching and learning together.

  2. What a wonderful post. It’s a testament to how dedicated you are that not only did students engage in your lecture but truly appreciated the effort it must have taken you to deliver it. Way to go!!

  3. Kindness means a lot, one finds out, as we’re navigating toward the mouth of the river. Kindness is like an invisible but powerful ore, that you lost in the torrrents, and you find it returned to you when you were about to try to make without.
    Kindness rules!
    Thanks for your inspiring post1

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