Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ally And Amara, Mary And Martha

We had our 7th semi-annual Amara Nelson Bible Finals Review in Room 258 on Monday, starting at 6 AM. It came about because I told my classes in December of 2012 that I would be there at 6 AM if they wanted me to go over the material with them on exam day. Of course, no one would show up at that hour so I was fifteen minutes late. But a somewhat nervous Amara was there waiting for me in a deserted, dark school building which can be very unnerving. I pledged that from then on, I'd be early and provide breakfast for all who would come to learn. And I have. I'm no chef but I set up a nice spread of coffee/water/juice/hot chocolate/green tea along with cereal bars, Pop Tarts, fruit, etc. No one leaves hungry. I always buy too much but it's easy to find someone to take the leftovers. Remember the story of the loaves and fishes.

Last year during our spring session, I recognized a problem. I was busy doing the two hour review while also trying to keep an eye on the buffet. It's hard to serve the bread of life and granola bars at the same time. I mentioned my dilemma to Ally, a freshman then, and one of my all-time favorite students. As best I remember, Ally told me that was right up her skill-set alley and on the spot, I hired her as hostess until her graduation in May of 2018. Ally has now been in charge of the culinary aspects of two reviews, back in December and three days ago. I don't pay her, unless you call a thank you note and a $10 Starbucks card remuneration. And, of course, all the coffee she can drink!

Here is what I've noticed about Ally, who is pictured in the final photo. She's very efficient and very good at emphasizing the procedures I emphasized when she was in my class during the reviews. Ally keeps things running smoothly in the food and beverage department BUT she still manages to study for her finals at the same time. That shouldn't surprise me. Ally is one of the very best singers/actresses in our WCS Fine Arts Department which is saying something as we have a great number of talented youngsters under the guidance of Dena Swasey, Patricia Duran, and David Patterson. She is used to playing different roles at different times. I've noticed that in our plays/musicals on occasion, we have a student portraying more than one character. (We aren't a very big school!) It's kind of like Ally is handling the roles of Mary AND Martha simultaneously. You remember how in Luke 10, a family squabble, at least from Martha's perspective, erupts when Jesus and crew came to Martha's home for dinner. Martha played hostess, a big job especially if all the apostles were there! Mary, however, chose to listen to the teachings of Jesus instead of setting the table. Martha, who most scholars believe was the older sister, expresses frustration to the Savior who gently reminds her that Mary chose what was better. Notice Jesus never tells Martha what she is doing is wrong. In my mind, Ally is cast as Mary and Martha concurrently, switching off as the need arises. We had  big crowd Monday as the juniors came from 6-7 AM with the 8th graders cramming from 7-8:00. In fact, at one time, as the eighth graders were studying, we had 27 of the 34 in my room at once, or roughly 90% of the grade. Ally kept it going like a pro, like a mini IHOP, and I focused on what I needed to do. I'm not sure how it started but since middle school, I've pronounced her name as you would the noun meaning someone on your side, often in stressful times. An ally is a friend, a hero for every season. Without a doubt, her folks named Ally perfectly. I call that perfect casting.

Applicable quote of the day:

I'm acting when I serve as a hostess, when I run my wig business. I was born to act, and life itself is the greatest part. 
Eva Gabor

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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