Friday, February 15, 2008

The Beginning of the Love Story

I'm sure that all of you that read my blog (all 5 of you) want to know how the love story between Manu and I started. It's actually a really sweet story.

The year was 2002-2003. My life revolves around academic years because I am a teacher. A student of mine D was a fifth grader. D was the kind of student that always wanted to do more than was required of him. He didn't do this just because he was smart but because he genuinely wanted to see how far he could take things. Like I've already mentioned he was a sharp kid but he was also one of the most caring students I've ever had. He would pick up trash off the school floor while others just kicked it around. He would hold doors open for teachers and other adults. He would say please and thank you. I'm sure most of you must be thinking: "What's the big deal? A lot of kids do that". But you see, I taught in a rough part of San Antonio and the kids there typically didn't put others first. Currently D is a sophomore in high school. He is in JROTC and attends a magnet school. We keep in touch with the occasional email. I could go on for hours telling you about D, but I'll leave that for another time. It's a great feeling you know. As a teacher you hope to make a difference the lives of kids. Even if it is just one. But often times it's the student that makes a difference in the teacher's life. D was that student for me. I've seen several Oprah shows where students write in to thank teachers that made them who they are. I've often wanted to write to Oprah and suggest she have a show about students that have changed the lives of teachers.

With that being said the story of Manu and I continues. D came in to school one morning and said. Miss G, have you heard of the Manu wants to know contest? Huh? Manu? What are you talking about? Of course D was well prepared and handed me a printout of the contest rules and requirements. In summary the contest asked kids to summit some kind of work that explained to Manu why San Antonio was so great. Manu needed kids to introduce him to the city. Since it was D that wanted to participate in the contest I quickly agreed to help him. (At this point I still didn't know anything about who Manu was).

I contacted D's mother and with her permission I picked him up on Saturday and took him around the city to take pictures of places he thought were important to San Antonio. We decided to make a travel brochure of San Antonio with descriptions of why these places were important. Oh did I mention that first prize got a visit from Manu for their school? We printed the pictures, worked on the brochure after school, and I drove over to the SBC Center, (now the the AT&T Center) and turned it in. Unfortunately D didn't win first place but he did get honorable mention. He got an autographed photo of Manu and his name and mine on the Spurs website for everyone to read. I printed a copy of it for him and one for me to remember. And what can I say? I've been a Manu fan ever since. D brought me and Manu together.

I went on to fill out a nomination form about D for the Tim Duncan character counts program. Manu and the Spurs and I have been together ever since. And now all of you know how our love story began.

1 comment:

ortiz said...

That was a great story. It's great being a teacher.