Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Great Lesson

We ended up watching Stand and Deliver (about a math teacher in East LA who takes a bunch of impoverished students from a 7th grade math level to passing the AP Calculus test with fewer than 4 wrong) and Mona Lisa Smile (about an art history teacher's first year at all girl's Wellesley College. She battles a bunch of snobby rich girls who believe their chief goal at college is to get married). The cool thing was noticing the similarities between the movies. I know, I know...1982-Latino-highschoolers and 1954-Society-girl-wealthy-college students don't seem to have a lot in common. But they do! All of these students, regardless of their affluence, education, or upbringing were content to meet their expectations and never exceed them. The teachers in these movies pushed these kids to want more. They didn't want their students to live dead-end lives or be stuck in the boxes of their own expectations. It sure brings up some good questions about contentment. I hope to always be content with what I have, where I am, and who I am. But in matters like my relationships with God, friends and family, or the pursuit of knowledge or character...I hope I am never content. I hope I will always strive to exceed my own expectations and never settle for mediocre. I guess that's the great lesson of all those "teacher movies." Never settle.


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