Friday, February 26, 2016

The Lesson of Appreciation

In 1985 my high school art program was one of the first to include computer graphics as part of arts curriculum.  We started with one Commodore Amiga that required two floppy disks to load and it could produce a miraculous 5"x7" 1200 color hard copy in less than 5 minutes!  Looking back one could equate the Amiga computer to early days of the recorded music played on the victrola.

And while our little Commodore was all the buzz in the art room, it was also very daunting. On a regular almost weekly basis, someone from the local computer store had to send someone out to "fix" the art computer that they sold to us.  Most schools did not yet have in-house tech departments back then.  There were times when I was so disgusted with the quirks of this early technology that I wanted to do away with it.

One day was especially daunting and I was in a very foul mood working constantly to keep my little "miracle of technology" up and running.  By my last class of the day, I had had it!
As the students filed in, a Sophomore named, Patrick burst through the door full of excitement and joy.   He exclaimed loudly, I wait all day for this class!  It is the highlight of my day!  Let me at that great computer!  Patrick's joyful enthusiasm jolted me out of my funk and gave me an immediate and life-altering attitude adjustment.

You see, Patrick is legally blind.  However, he can see light and the computer opened up a new world of opportunity into creating pixilated visual images.  Patrick taught me to appreciate the limitless, wonderful things that I take for granted.  The lesson of appreciation is one that I will never forget.

I invite you, my fellow teachers, to post a lesson(s) that your students taught you!