Thursday, September 12, 2013

71. The Photo

My English class was at a temporary lull, somewhere between singing and starting an in-class assignment.  I was busy correcting an exercise in somebody's notebook and feeling tired and dusty and sticky and hot.  I'd had a lousy couple of days and my inner strength was starting to erode.  

Then, suddenly, I got an unexpected present.

The class president raised his hand as I passed by his desk and pulled something out of his notebook.

"Here, Teacher," he said.  "A gift.  We took this photo for you."

I received the photo and started to smile.  "For me?"  I asked.  

"Yes, Teacher," he said.  "The picture is for you.  It's for you to keep."

I looked it over in earnest, and then tried hard not to laugh.

My students

I only somewhat managed.  

"I love it," I said.  "Thank you."  And I really, really meant it.    

I love so much about this photo.  I love their solemn faces and the way that the class president (upper left) is posing with the Livro da Turma (the official Class Book).  I love that their school uniforms match the colors of the photo border, and I especially love the flowers on the corners.  

It has all the elements of the perfect Mozambican photo, and it's a wonderful lembran├ža of three of my favorite students.

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