Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My NEW Valentine (Not My Blue Valentine)

No half-forgotten dreams nor pebbles in my shoes (that's for all you Tom Waits fans out there), this post is an homage to the holiday of St. Valentine's, a day for lovers to celebrate love in all its many splendored glory.

Of course, there are many kinds of love: romantic love, platonic love, familial love, the love of a mother for her child, the love of a student for her teacher, the love between two toddlers on a swingset or two teenagers at sleepaway camp, cat love, dog love, God love, gay love, starcrossed love, unrequited love, unrelenting love, the love of a preacher/rabbi/imam for his church/shul/mosque, overwhelming love, overreaching love, love against the odds, love is all we need, Mariah Carey's Vision of Love and Bob Marley's One Love, erotic love, free love, love at first sight, and (take it or leave it) polyamorous love.

Since I'm already feeling all loved up at home with my mama (Carla) love and my paka (Drogo) love, this post is about my newest love, a little girl named Sadia who stole my heart this past week while I was observing the teachers assess the 2016 cohorts for the third and final time.

Because Angi had been concerned about the normative quality of the testing last year as well as the data entry, I tried to take appropriate measures to cut down where mistakes could be made.  Thus, rather than pay full attention to how the kids were testing or helping to test them myself, I set myself the task of carefully watching each Toa teacher as she assessed each child to make sure they were following protocol.

Since this is ultimate test for the 2016 kids, I deemed it a good opportunity for our teachers to get their practice on, in preparation for the 2017 group who we will start assessing in about a week or so.  Since that will be MAYHEM (no love lost for that task there), I figured why not make sure we are all in fighting shape before getting back into the ring....?

In this short clip from observing Teacher Glory with Sadia, I experienced a very sweet love.  A heartwarming love for Glory whose kind nature shown through as she tested the blushing and beautiful Sadia.  And a tender and maternal love for Sadia herself, for having come so far from her first assessment and for allowing herself to relax and smile and have fun now completing her third.  Even though she shakes her head at Glory's tease, "You're happy, huh?" it's clear she is.  And really, who doesn't love a happy kid?  (Probably a lot of jackholes in Congress right now, but take the phrase as rhetorical before the warm fuzzies wear off....)

So from our hearts to yours, Team Toa wishes everyone a happy Valentine's Day and reminds you that, as bleak as the world may seem just now, love actually is all around.  (Thank you, Hugh Grant.)

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