Yesterday was one of my favorite days in a long time. I worked a lot, stressed a lot, calmed a lot of people down, and walked more miles than I have in recent memory. I spent the day at my alma mater here in Sacramento helping get an event called Senior Boards up and going (to be fair, there was VERY little for me to do- all the hard work was done over the past few months by a pretty rad teacher on campus). My job was to liaise between the admin, campus security, food service staff, custodial, leadership kids, and the coordinating teacher to make sure the event was ready to go by the time community members started to arrive at 11:15am. The hardest part was crossing campus so many times (I was NOT wearing appropriate footwear for so much walking, but I lived through it) and by the end I was grumpy- walking in the heat and navigating the balance between stressed out people and optimizing productivity is NOT easy. I only had about twenty minutes of downtime between work and actually volunteering for Sr. Boards and I spent it refreshing- I used make up wipes and redid my face, sat and cooled off, and ate some food.
In order to understand the next bit, you have to understand Senior Boards; they’re a right of passage that you also get graded for. Students are required to complete a project that is intended for them to learn and grow in a fairly self-directed way and then present the project and how it impacted them to a board of teachers and community members in an event called (you guessed it) senior boards. During their presentation, they are rated on things like pacing, informative slideshow, and how professionally they’re dressed. The men pretty much all wore slacks and ties while many of the women wore skirts and heels. I had a lot of fun handing out compliments left and right to kids who looked amazing (especially the ones who have only worn sweats or yoga pants all year). Now to the most awesome moment of the day: a girl asked me to tie her shoe. Yes, you read that right- a senior in high school asked a teacher to tie their shoes (before you judge, she was in a short skirt and wearing laced ankle boot heels.. anyone who’s worn the combo before will readily tell you how uncomfortable the experience can get when you have no one willing to help tie those). In that moment, I was reminded so sweetly of the times I worked in elementary schools and the kindergartners who literally couldn’t tie their shoes would ask me for help and I was thankful for the moment I got to slow down and reflect. Taking the time to notice the poignancy of someone who is literally completing one of the last steps for her K-12 education asking me a question that was probably one of her first questions to her first teacher was one of the most unexpected gifts of that day. It was a day full of awesome, but that moment effected me more than others.
It’s always the little ones though, isn’t it?