It’s not often that I blog twice in a day, let alone a week or month. I have a lot of passengers today.
Out of nowhere this morning, I flashed on Carol Ross. Ms. Ross was my 7th grade teacher at Woodbury Jr. High. She was a good teacher. She liked Schoolhouse Rock, and the Muppets. I was impressed with the fact that she knew the Muppets’ Show theme song.
Ms. Ross would have discussion circles with us on occasion. We would move the desks out of the way, and gather in the middle of the room to sit on the floor. Once in a while, we played Duck, Duck, Goose. We were all, at the mature age of twelve, a little too old for the game but, since Ms. Ross was cool, it was cool. Besides, it was fun. I remember, once she had us take out a piece of paper and write IALAC on it, in big letters. Then she took pieces of string, and hung the paper around our necks. Once we all settled down, she read a story.
I only remember a little of the story, but it went something like this: there was a little boy (it might have been a bear, or beaver, or something) who had a sign like ours around his neck. His mother had given it to him. The sign said "IALAC", and his mother told him it meant "I am Loveable and Capable". The boy (bear, beaver, whatever) went out and about. As the day went on, he encountered people and circumstances that were not very nice. Some of the people he met were mean, and he fell down a couple of times. By the time he got home, he was crying because his beautiful sign was almost completely destroyed. Ms. Ross would tear a piece of her sign whenever something would happen to the boy. She was great with visual aids. The boy’s mother told him the sign was not important, only a reminder that he was what the sign said. It didn’t matter that the sign was destroyed, only that he remember it.
I catch myself saying "I am Loveable and Capable" often. It’s become a mantra, of sorts. I used to say it all the time when I was a kid, it helped me through a lot of stuff that an ideal life should have not had in it. I wonder what Ms. Ross is doing now. She was pretty young in 1976. I hope she’s still teaching.
Next time, I think I’ll talk about Ruth Ann. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately.