Friday, July 15, 2011

Ode to Teachers, or Sisters, or Sisters who are Teachers

We met these lovely women in Venice.  Betty and Linda, from the US. One lives in Iowa and one in Texas and they both taught school- 5th and 6th grade.

Kathy came back to the room the first afternoon and said she had met two women, dressed just alike who were twins and traveling together. We ran into them later that night and got this picture and talked to them for a bit. Turns out they're not twins, but sisters. Every year they go on a trip together and before they go, each one buys a few outfits in duplicate. Before the trip they get together and try everything on and pack. They said it's like Christmas, seeing what the other has picked out.  They said their children were appalled, but that everyone else gets a charge out of it.  They added that they've met such lovely people on their trips, because people talk to them more when they're dressed alike, matched right down to their pedicure. And it's true. We would have walked right by and never noticed them at all.

We were enchanted by them; they were so full of fun. It made me think a lot about who becomes a teacher and why. These two women were terrific- enthusiastic, open, welcoming, curious and interested in everything.  Can you imagine a better 5th or 6th grade teacher? They embodied everything that I think of when I think of teachers. They talked to the kids, asking them what they thought of Venice, but not in that bored way that most adults talk to kids; they asked in a way that invited conversation.  Then-- they listened to what the kids had to say. They asked where else we had been, and how we ended up going to Barcelona, and how we liked Rome. They talked about their trip, and how the high tide has flooded the square the night before and how they had taken off their matching shoes and waded through the cool water. They said it was "Blessed" water, thinking that if it was in San Marco, it certainly must be.

We had all been feeling a bit of a let down after Kent and Steve left, and after a long drive the day before.  Meeting these two sisters really helped me wipe away the fog and appreciate where we were.  They also liked our kids, and talked about how they would love to have them in their classes. Their enthusiasm was infectious and I walked away feeling better, renewed by it. It made me appreciate the beauty of Venice even more than I had, and it made me appreciate my kids, which I sorely needed. Blessed indeed. Thank you Betty and Linda!

I ran into them the next day too, so I really must post the second day's outfit.

Betty and Linda, if you read this, please post a comment!


Anonymous said...

Jane, we really enjoyed meeting your family and welcomed in Venice. Thought of ya'll often during our trip and wondered where you were at that time. We told many of our shipmates about you and your family. Isn't amazing how sometimes when paths are crossed that you know that at any other time you would become good friends. Thank you again for adding us to your blog. Our cruise was fantastic and we matched every day and night. Thank you again and to your wonderful sister and the precious kids.

Shannon said...

I'm Betty's daughter Shannon and you're right you can't help but be in a good mood when you're around them, their love for life is infectious.