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Just Call Me "Mermaid" (Moved from the archives.)

Beautiful stories written by YOU about a person or event that changed your life, gave you hope, made you dream...
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Sparky
Beautiful Soul
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Joined: February 2, 2007, 11:25 am
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Post by Sparky » November 10, 2008, 8:02 pm

She walked into the class loud, and angry. I asked her name and she said “Just call me “Mermaid”, giving me a sarcastic look. “Mermaid” it is", I said, smiling at her. She then stood up and started throwing things across the room and yelling and others joined in. I realized that the whole class was bent on sending me away, never to return again. (But I saw their hearts.) I saw what happened last night or this morning; perhaps lots of “last nights” or “this mornings”. So I softly asked them to sit down and get to work.

Surprised at my lack of frustration, they did as I asked and one or two backed me up. I could tell I had one or two allies. “Mermaid” stood up and began flipping another student with a rubber toy. I asked her firmly to stop but not before someone’s eye was hit. I sent Mermaid to her seat where she began to sulk, knowing that this meant stern punishment for “being bad” and parents would be called.

I took care of the wounded student and followed usual reporting procedure, telling Mermaid that this would have to be reported. “I know!” she grumbled and continued to sulk. Each time she looked at me I smiled back at her. She just buried herself deeper into her book.

I studied “Mermaid” and wondered what made her this way, so full of anger. Then I knew what I had to do. I walked across the room and crouched down at her side and whispered to her. “You know you have to apologize.” I saw her stiffen. I felt that I was asking her to do something that was foreign and nearly impossible for her to do, so I coached her. “Just say "I’m sorry" I said. She kept her head down but looked across the room at the victim and got even stiffer then shouted “I’m sorry.” To my surprise, it even sounded sincere. I said “Thank you, good job.” “Mermaid” frowned and went back into her book as if she would never come out again.

I went to my desk and took out a scrap of paper and began to write. I saw “Mermaid” look up from time to time. I knew she was curious but had convinced herself that this was part of her punishment. I was no doubt writing an account of what she had done. She frowned again and kept reading. “At least she’s quiet”, I thought. I finished writing on the scrap of paper, folded it up and put it on “Mermaid’s” desk. She didn’t notice.

The morning continued in quiet cooperation from the whole class. Mermaid did her work then continued to read. It was a long time before she noticed the folded piece of paper on her desk and she asked me, defensively, “What’s this?” “It’s for you”, I told her. So she began to unfold it and tears came to her eyes and a smile which, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t stop. So she tried to bury herself in her book again but she couldn’t, she looked up at me with moist eyes and muttered “thank you”. I could tell by her demeanor that praise was new to her. The note had read “I know that what I asked you to do was very difficult for you, but you did it anyway and you did a very good job. I admire your courage. It isn’t always easy to do things that are hard for you. I am very proud of you.” For the rest of the day “Mermaid” (who finally said with a smile “And, by the way, my name is really Ariel.”) was a model citizen. She not only cooperated and did her work but wouldn’t allow anyone else to misbehave for the rest of the day. She left a tiny scrap of note on my desk at the end of the day that read “You’re the best teacher”. I kept it as a special treasure.

Ariel confirmed my belief that all any of us really want, deep down, is to be loved and accepted.


Love,
Barbie
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.

~ Helen Keller

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Liebestraum
Cosmic Dreamer
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Joined: January 17, 2007, 12:10 am
Location: Italy
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Post by Liebestraum » November 19, 2008, 8:32 am

Oh, dear Barbie, how true!!! A wonderful example you share with us here. All these rebels are just yelling that they need a little bit of sincere attention and love.

I enjoyed your beautifully written story greatly! And of course I do not doubt Mermaid's words that you are the best teacher one could wish for ...

Love,
Margherita luv
Love is the One who masters all things;
I am mastered totally by Love.
(Rumi)

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