They sit next to each other in my fifth period eight grade Bible class. One is named Amy and so is the other. One's last name begins with C and the other's does as well. Being silly at times, I differentiate by referring to one as Favorite Amy although that title has gone back and forth some. Sometimes they are Amazing Amy and Awesome Amy. They tease me some over the matter which I take as a sign of acceptance. One is blonde, the other brunette. They aren't much alike but then again they are. On Monday, they proved it to me simply by being themselves.
As you may know, our WCS family has raised money through coin collections for the past seventeen years, raising close to $150,000. For fourteen of those years, Preston and Ann Hill, parents of one of my former players, have supplied teachers and students with bank bottles, plastic imprinted piggy banks to aid our efforts. Last week, one of our teachers, Joy Lacey, told me she had 12 of the 14 bottles and our public relations decided to do a little feature on the bottles. I asked if we could hold off and try to find the other two. One Amy asked of she could take a picture of the set and try to find the missing bottle at her home as her family has been at WCS for well more than a decade. Of course, she found one of the two missing bottles (I found the other one in my apartment) and now our set is complete! How many students that age would have the sense of history to even care? I know one! Did I mention she also used to be my supplier of Girl Scout Cookies? Amy is the bubbly type and wants to be an actress; she's not above giving me a little good natured and respectful grief, probably related to my making her keep her One Direction pencil bag out of my sight! No one is perfect!
That brings me to the other Amy, who in times past has supplied me with oranges and mulberries from her yard. Last Friday, all five of my Bible classes totaling 95+ kids took essay tests covering two movies which I weave into the curriculum. The high school Gospels classes discussed the true life story of Dr. Oliver Sacks from the film Awakenings. The eighth graders watched Whistle Down The Wind starring Hayley Mills as a twelve year old in a movie adapted from a story written by Hayley's mother. The premise is that young English siblings believe that a killer hiding in their barn is Jesus and treat the murderer as if he were the Savior. Some students did not finish by the end of the class periods so I allowed them to finish at home over the weekend. Amy turned hers in Monday. Of all the tests in all the classes, hers was the only one typed. I'm not usually blown away when grading tests but I was with Amy's. Most youngsters write on a surface level and/or show enough effort to make a decent score. Not Amy. I would estimate I've seen Whistle Down The Wind in excess of thirty times but she perceived currents and traits I missed. Amy managed to weave in Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and her stages of grief (from On Death And Dying) while characterizing Charlie, the six year old boy who along with his sisters had recently lost his mom. She implies Blakey, AKA Jesus, had alcohol issues based on a short scene when reading to the kids of the village. The final question dealt with the point Ms. Mills' was attempting to make about our relationship to Jesus. Everyone else steered their answers towards treating others as if they were Jesus, based on the Parable of the Sheep and Goats. Not Amy. She saw the overriding theme as the danger of idol worship, an angle I had never considered. I may have to go back and rewatch the film armed with Amy's perspectives. Needless to say, she made a 100 for grade. It was almost a shame that there is not a higher mark.
There is no real deep spiritual message tonight but if you teach, you know you learn from the children, no matter the age. There are numerous interactions of Jesus with children in the scriptures, positive in nature. I could go on. One of the Amys told me she was a hologram when she was little so I couldn't really see her. One of the Amys voluntarily sits with a boy from China so he doesn't get lost when we take notes. Here's the neat thing. I have lots of Amys, as well as Matthews and Noahs and Bryans, in my classes I could write great stories about. Monday just seemed like an Amy kind of day.
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