Unselfish Interest.

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For one of my classes, I have been assigned to read Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington. As this is my second time reading the book I am noticing even more interesting and profound things than I did the first time.

I admire so much Booker T. Washington and his story, especially from an educational perspective. His philosophy is that of teaching his students to study “people and things instead of just books.” In other words, instead of just learning about math or Latin the students will learn proper hygiene, industry, the value of hard work, and about the Bible. What more could a teacher want for his/her students?

One thing in particular that stood out to me while reading the book again was this line:

Let them once understand that you are unselfishly interested in them and you can lead them to any extent.”

Booker T. Washington put this idea into play as he was in the process of literally lifting up an entire race of people in the South through the growth of his school, the Tuskegee Institute.

I think this is such a profound thing, not only for teachers but for humans in general. Yes, we are selfish creatures. We don’t always achieve humility and sometimes our one-track minds are going full speed ahead into the Pride station. We think we know everything and we think everyone ought to hear about what we  know. How many times do you call up a friend not to talk to him but to talk at him? How often do you catch yourself just waiting your turn to talk again instead of genuinely listening? I know I am definitely guilty.

I think we could all benefit from a little more honest attempt at unselfish interest. If you believe in someone and show them that you care about them, not for what they can do for you but just because you see their value, you’re going to have infinitely better relationships.

As teachers, this is especially important to implement with our students. Showing our compassion and our respect for them is huge in establishing a trust factor. Without this, how can we expect to be leaders of our students at all?

I’m still in the process of the teacher-in-training thing but I owe it to the people I care about to be unselfishly interested more than just once in a while.

Though it isn’t always easy, it’s definitely a worthy practice to pursue.

And by the way, check out this autobiography. It’s not very long but it is packed with some pretty inspiring stuff. Plus, it’s a gem because it gives an insight into post-civil war America.

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Thoughts About: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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I finished TFIOS yesterday and am still suffering from the belief that Augustus and Hazel are real people who suffered a real sImagetar crossed lovers’ tragedy. While I suppose in some respects there are metaphorical Augustus’s and Hazels around the world battling the vicious disease of cancer while trying to enjoy living and loving, I still can’t disconnect myself from the emotional attachment I feel for their particular story.

It just doesn’t seem fair. But as Augustus would say, “the world is not a wish granting factory.” Oh, how true it is.

I can’t even begin to pretend that I did not completely bawl my eyes out for the last few chapters of the book. It’s that good. Everything they say about it is TRUE. It’s adorable, it’s heart warming, it’s funny, it’s heart breaking. Perhaps what hurts me the most is that it is so real. The feelings they feel, and the fight they fight is so real. John Green ingeniously makes us have no choice but to be emotionally invested, it’s brilliant.

I finished the book of 313 pages in a little over 24 hours after starting it. I couldn’t put it down. The charisma of Augustus and the wittiness of Hazel captivated me. I loved everything about their story.

One thing that bothers me after reading the book is- why did they not get Isaac (Augustus’ and Hazel’s friend) a seeing eye dog?! I mean, unless he or someone in his family was allergic to dogs, I feel like a seeing eye dog would provide him some companionship after having been dumped by his girlfriend Monica.

I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone. I tried to get my boyfriend to read it too but alas, it is too much of a “chick book” for him. I cannot wait to watch the movie and have my heart ripped out all over again. Because with the sweet romance Augustus and Hazel, you don’t mind being hurt. Not one bit.