Saturday, April 4, 2009

What was the highlight of your week?

A fellow blogger drew a blank today for a topic, so she invited questions from her readers. My question to her was, "What was the highlight of your week?"

I've used a variation of this question for the last 30 years with friends and family. Usually, I ask, "What was the highlight of your day?" This question usually eliminates a shallow, glib reply, and instead gives birth to meaningful interaction. (So don't use this question is you're not interested in conversing.)

The question also is uplifting. It makes the person reflect on the best, the good, the upbeat, the affirming parts of life that are often overshadowed by the other stuff.

The question, once posed, is often thrown back-at-ya! That's okay too. It's a good question.

The highlight of my past week, amidst the hustle and bustle of end-of-quarter grading, was an unexpected parent comment.

In educating youth, my aim is to make a 30-year impact on some of them. That means, 30 years from now, they'll look back on our classroom co-experience and say, "That changed my life for the better. That was a watershed experience in my life. Thank you Mr. Evans, wherever you are."

Because I aim for such a response, I get a few. This week a woman was snapping pictures around campus. I engaged her in conversation, partly for security reasons, and partly out of curiosity.

In the course of our conversation, she realized that I had been her daughter's math teacher two years ago. Her daughter loved my class. She talked about it at dinner. "Mr. Evans made math fun, and he helped me get it."

This mom has two children. She also mentioned her son's name which sounded familiar. Since I teach Special Education, I don't have a lot of students. My sphere of student interaction is somewhat small. But for two years at the junior high, I taught a class in creative problem solving. After mentioning that, the mom said, "Did you teach the class where they fixed wooden school benches and stuff?"

"Yeah, that was me."

"He loved that class."

That class was designed to teach kids to become CPSrs for life. (Creative Problem Solvers for life.)

Two children, one grateful mom: the highlight of my week.


  1. Thanks for the inspiration! Comments like the one you received this week make it all worth it, eh? Which is exactly what the dr. orders during the end of the quarter. Happy fourth quarter! Keep up the great work :)

  2. It was an inspirational highlight! Almost lost in the fog of busy-ness and problems, out loomed Mt. Worth-it-all. Had I not paused, turned around, and peered... I might have missed it.

    But I didn't.

    (Glad to share. Thanks for commenting.)

    Fourth quarter: here we come!

  3. touch my heart and I hope that I have made a friend for life. You're awesome.
    I wrote back (on my comment box because I'm soooo incredibly lazy AND, I wanted to devote the next blog to the Rabies Clinic - I know....shameless plug for the animals right)
    "The highlight of my week was Wednesday night. Every Wednesday night!!
    i ride the bus with my church to pick up kiddo's who want to go to church but have no ride.
    Don, when they get off that bus and hug me and tell me that they love heart melts and I feel like a better person.
    You are a teacher. Making a difference in so many lives. I remember all of my teacher's....true story. God bless you for what you do way could I do that every day. No way :)
    I hope that your back is better my friend.
    Please have an EXTREME Sunday and please...remember our Creator of all....
    I'm not being "preachy"..I'm just sayin :)

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  4. Reggie Girl,

    Thanks for the comment. I read your response on your blog in the comments. Awanas is a great group. What's important is that we are each doing what we are called to do. Teaching or transporting kids, caring for animals, caring for spouses...

    "In that you've done it to the least of these... you've done it to Me."

    Thanks for the well wishes on my back. More importantly, I hope your chemo goes well for you.

    I played racquetball for several years with a friend whose shirt said, "Live the dash!"

    I thought it was the dash diet (low salt or something). She informed me, "No. It's the dash between day of birth and day of death."

    That's what you and I have in common. Both of us are thoroughly engaged in our own sphere of influence: living the dash!