As I gaze out the window at snow falling on October 2, it may help to situate the reader who missed the story that this year I migrated from Arizona to the prairies of Saskatchewan, the call to move being one of love.
And you may glean from flickr/Instagram photos that Cori and I share a lot, especially our love of the outdoors, chasing light with our cameras, laying down in the grass to grab that perfect image.
You should know, however, that there is so much more to this woman, the way she is in the world, and mostly, the incredible work she does with some of the most challenging high school students. Yes, her superpower coffee mug may state her superpower is “I Teach” but her work goes beyond content and subject matter, but doing heroic level feats to help the students she works with, and reach them in a genuine way few adults do.
And it’s a strong dose of reality that makes my high school years seem like a quaint fairy tale and is hard to reconcile with the generalizations one often reads about students and school these days. The reality I am learning through her is quite powerful
The stories she comes home with regularly, as Mom used to say, “blow me away” and humble me to the quiet keyboard pecking that occupies my day. I’ve carried this post around in my head as a draft for a while, and after this particular week, it really is time to publish.
When thinking of a metaphor, I kept hearing the call of a song, and yet worried that it might not convey it in words to the feeling I am trying to pour into this editor screen.
Long time readers may glean (I think it’s in the Twitter bio) of my fandom of The Who (“…because you never get to know their names. You know them as The Who. Everybody says, ‘who?’ and you say, ‘you know'”).
The rock opera Tommy is all original except for one cover-
Eyesight to the Blind (The Hawker) is their version of the 1951 blues song recorded Sonny Boy Williamson II, which the liner notes indicate Pete Townsend learned of from the Mose Allison version.
The lyrics, to me, encapsulate, with yes, a bit exaggeration of what I think of her role as a Teacher who is More Than a Teacher:
You talk about your woman
I wish you could see mine
Yeah, you talk about your woman
I wish you could see mine
Every time she starts to lovin’
She brings eyesight to the blind.
The “lovin'” in verse maye be inferred a more carnal blues way, but the one I know from Cori is the deep lovin’ she has for her students, and the actions and lengths she goes to for them. Around town we meet and frequently she is messaged from students she has helped, sometimes from years ago, and it’s clear in those exchanges that she is just about as memorable a teacher as one can be.
I am in awe at our end of day exchanges of what we did. As much for the many things she does, often right in a moment, and addressing the needs of multiple students and colleagues at once. I would melt trying to do her work.
And there is much more; we have long intense discussions about teaching, pedagogy, values, ethics, research. What a joy for me to be part of her life.
In the Spring I am proud to share (uh oh, Cori, and I spilling beans?) she is getting to share some of her Eyesight giving experience to education students at the University of Regina, leading a section of a first year teachers course. Those students will be beyond lucky to be in her class.
You should be a reader of her blog which I am way overdue in my promise to help move to a Domain of Her Own. She’s not about promoting herself so I am doing a wee bit.
Yes, I may exaggerate with these lyrics, but it’s my blog and it’s what runs through my mind on hearing her stories:
Just a word from her lips
And the deaf begin to hear