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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ganas & My View The Teaching Career

Yesterday, I had the honor of a surprise guest in my classroom.

Rocio, a former student, 7 years ago, and former runner in track and cross country, is on break from Mercer University. She, and others like her, is the reason I teach.

Rocio was born the fourth of seven children. Her family is from Michoacan, Mexico. Her parents moved her family to the United States when Rocio was 11 years old.

She arrive at our school knowing no words in English. She was in 5th grade for 3 months, then it was a new school year. She was in middle school. She was in our Language Academy, a sheltered environment for English Language Learners. Her teacher, Mrs. Jones, was the only teacher she had, until I was privileged to be one of her first English-speaking teachers.

She would come into my Computer Applications class, and I would point to things on the screen, then she would point, and use facial expressions, until she felt she could trust me, that I would not ridicule her lack of English. I spoke with Mrs. Jones several times a week as to how I could do the best for this "little girl" who had a sparkle in her eyes, that I could not determine was fear or brilliance (or both).

I know what it was now.

Rocio had "ganas" - the drive to succeed.

Knowing no words of English at age 11, by her 8th grade year (age 14) she left our school with the highest GPA in the school. In her words (yesterday as she spoke to my current ELL students) "I was not the smartest, but I did have the drive to be the best I could be."

Through middle school and high school - for 7 years - she made no grade below an 'A'. That is ganas.

She is currently a student at Mercer University in Macon, GA. The cost is about $40,000 a year. My students asked her how she paid for it, she (and I) helped the students understand that she paid for Mercer while she was in middle school and high school. She earned the Gates Millennium Scholarship, worth about $30,000 and she has numerous other scholarships that cover all her expenses. She did not get paid for making good grades while she was in our school system like other systems are trying (what a joke, IMO). She delayed her gratification to get real money, and a quality education.

Rocio is inspiring to me...and she was to my students.

By the way, her older brother is in grade school in economics, a sister in medical school, another sister studying psychology, Rocio studying international affairs. She has two brothers still in our school system, and a 5-year-old sister, I can't wait to meet her!

Her parents, as I understand, did not attend college. They are among those I would consider heroes.

Rocio is my hero. I wish I had her drive, commitment to always doing my best. To overcome adversity with grace.

I WONDER how many kids come our way, who are exactly like the clouds, stars, sun, and moon in the video. They are in our scope of vision but for a few minutes, if we pause long enough to not just look, but to SEE them, would we be inspired by their presence? I think so.

How about you?

Thank you Rocio. May God richly bless you and your family. Never let insecurities enter your thoughts, except that they help you maintain your humility and love of your fellow man.

You inspire me, and always will.

Posted via email from rrmurry's posterous


At 4:04 PM, Blogger Rocio said...

WOW! =0

i'm speechless!

I have tears in my eyes.
Tears of happiness and numerous thoughts going through my mind at this moment.

I once told you that to me you weren't MR. Murry, you were MR. MARVELOUS!...remember?
...well, i do, and I still consider you to be a marvelous person.
Unique in every aspect, and loved in many ways.
I feel tremendously grateful with God for putting you in my life.

I thank you for your complements, but I have to emphasize that I am not worthy of all of them, because I received a lot of support and help from numerous people around me...LIKE YOU! And like you, those people deserve such praise.

I am infinitely thankful for everything you have done! =)

I enjoyed our long conversation Friday, and the motivation, modesty, and sincerity of your words...

and you know what I realized?...that as a person, one never stops growing.
YOu've seen me smiling, crying, laughing, falling, succeeding...YOU'VE SEEN ME GROW.
I've shared my goals, motivation, and struggles with you, and at this point of my life all I can say to you is

THANK YOU!...I will never thank you enough for everything you've done!
I thank GOD for giving me the chance to meet someone like you!

Now I wipe my tears off my face, and end this comment with a little bit of humor hehe >>> I didn't get here in 5th grade! I came here when sixth grade had already started! you have some wrong info! hehehehe. But it does not matter!

I'll save this page and words forever! =)

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Ric Murry said...

Sorry for the error. I gave you credit for 6 months of school and English that you did not have. Your are even more impressive than I thought. :-)


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