“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer
This week has been tough for several different reasons. Personally and professionally, I’ve spent large amounts of time this week feeling like I was spinning my wheels and not being as effective as I should be. Additionally, I felt like I was on an island as all of my fellow CMs started school on Wednesday. I’m not living with any other teachers and I live a ways away from everyone, so it can be easy to get outside of the loop.
However, something really cool happened today that has me feeling rejuvenated and excited heading into tomorrow, where I will (hopefully) (finally) get my classroom.
My former roommate, classmate, and all-around stude, David Stein, posted to Facebook saying that he would match a donation that anyone made to an inclusive nonprofit. Here was his exact post:
“My good friend and teacher, Dalton Goodier, wants to buy books for his middle school class in a high-poverty area of OKC.
Whether you’re trying to support a better cause than some stupid restaurant publicity or you’re using your money you would have spent there, for the cost of a meal at Chic-Fil-A, you can stop getting caught up in this nonsense and easily help in a way that can actually make a direct impact on the lives of these kids.
No matter which side you’re on, for once let’s not care if these students are gay, Muslim, Martian, etc. Let’s care that they’re human beings working toward one of the most important human rights that so many in our country are denied – Education.
I need 7 of you to donate $7 each. That’s just $49 total. If you all can do that, I’ll match your total donation of $49. “
Immediately, another one of TCU’s finest, Brett Anderson, donated. I received the notification in my inbox with a message saying ”I gave to this project in memory of Mr. John Mitchell, a man who I know inspired Mr. Goodier’s dreams of teaching.”
Now, Mr. Mitchell was my high school english teacher and one of the most important people in my life. He passed away last year after a long battle, just as I was going through the beginning stages of applying for TFA. Undoubtedly he’s had a huge impact on me as a person and as an educator, but for Brett to remember and recognize this simply shows how exemplary of a friend he is.
And he wasn’t the only one. My parents donated. So did an old friend. So did someone that I don’t even know. So did one of the sponsors of my college scholarship. Another friend (the kind that I might never see again but still has a heart of gold) pledged to give as soon as she got paid. And then Stein’s mom pledged to match her son’s donation.
I didn’t solicit any of this. I simply sat back and watched it happen. I can’t see who gave how much, but I do know that the first four people gave almost 150 dollars between them, no small chunk of change.
So much for being in this alone, right? All my life, my friends have pushed, carried, and cajoled me to higher places. It’s good to see that it’s still happening as I embark on the toughest challenge of my life.