One of my students logged on to our Google Classroom a bit later than usual (for her) this morning. Here was her first post of the day:
“Good morning everybody! I would have been on this earlier if something didn’t happen with the chrome book.I didn’t see any new posts and I wasn’t able to post anything. Of course the most simple thing was the”hero”.The restart button.”
That got me thinking about heroes. Because everyone needs heroes. And they come in all shapes and sizes. I watched Captain Marvel the other day (practically a year after watching it the first time). I realized while watching it that I was viewing it through a different lens. A year ago Superheroes were awesome and fun to watch. They take their hits but in the end they push back the enemy, usually with some losses (ugh, think Endgame) but all in the name of the overall good. Remind you of anything a lot closer to home? Wow, we are fighting a superhero battle right here on our home front. And just like any Superhero film (or comic book) we expect a certain outcome. The steps Captain Marvel had to go through, understanding exactly who or what the enemy is, identifying weaknesses, devising a plan of attack, shoring up your defenses… Well, we are in the midst of all that, aren’t we?
But like I said, heroes come in all shapes and sizes. So I’d like to relay a story from several years ago. A true story. A hero story.
One morning, while reading to my class, I noticed a “non-listener”. He was not staring at me, the Queen, who was delivering the most animated rendition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone this side of the big pond. No, he was staring out the window.
“Joe, what are you looking at?”
“That squirrel. Out there,” he pointed out the window, “the one that’s wearing a red hat.”
Ok, that got me. Actually it got all of us and as a unit we stood and looked where Joe was pointing. It was a squirrel. It was jumping up and down and twirling around. And it had a reddish Cheetos type bag stuck on its head.
“Hi Pat,” I spoke into the the small brown intercom phone hanging on the wall. “Um, this is going to sound strange, and I don’t actually think you will be able to help, but, there’s a squirrel outside with a bag stuck on its head.”
“What!” came the shouted reply. “I’ll send Kevin.”
Mr. Kevin, our go to maintenance man, came immediately. I pointed. He looked. The class worried. Then Kevin said, “I have an idea.” He looked about the room. “Can I borrow that?” He pointed to the long pole I use to open the enormous windows in the room.
“Sure!” I hadn’t a clue what he was planning.
So out he went and we all lined up at the window. Instinctively the class got very quiet. Mr. Kevin walked very quietly towards the squirrel. It couldn’t see because of the bag but it could probably still hear. And he didn’t want to cause it any more stress. Slowly, inch by inch, he stretched the pole towards the squirrel, and more specifically, towards the bag. He was finally able to touch the bag with the tip of the pole and, with the squirrels momentum, the bag popped off!
The squirrel dashed away at the speed of light.
“Yay!” we all cheered. We could hear other classes cheering as well. They must have seen Mr. Kevin in the yard with a pole. Mr. Kevin became an instant hero. And we all had a superhero story to tell that ended with a happy ending. Just like they are supposed to!
So, remember, heroes are everywhere. You are probably somebody’s hero. And this Superhero story we are living right now isn’t better yet because it isn’t over yet. I’ll close with my favorite quote:
“In the end, everything will be ok. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”Fernando Sabino (translated from Portuguese)