Over the past year my birthday has been celebrated on several occasions. Of course, none of those times was it actually my birthday – until today! It all started last year at a Dreamfar team dinner at Bertucci’s, when one of my students thought it would be funny to have the waitress bring me a cake with lit candle and sing happy birthday. To be honest, I was pretty confused and didn’t understand what was going on; in fact, there’s a video that shows the expressions of shock and confusion on my face! In any case, it became an ongoing inside joke and my birthday was thereafter celebrated at random times throughout the year.
Given how pervasive this joke had become on Dreamfar, I did wonder this morning whether my true birthday might be acknowledged at practice this afternoon. And while I certainly wasn’t looking for acknowledgment, the potential irony of this day passing by without mention while it was indiscriminately celebrated at other times did cross my mind. Well, I entered practice today to the sound of “Happy Birthday” being sung by my team, which I much appreciated – though I did have to explain this story to some of our new team members for them to fully appreciate it!
Birthdays and inside jokes aside, I realized something important today from this experience. These Newton South students – much like their counterparts throughout the city – are thoughtful, creative, and caring. What important qualities to have! And I’d like to think that it’s no coincidence that so many of our students in Newton are like this; the Newton schools shape students not only in academics, but also as people, citizens, productive members of our community. These are the type of students that I’m proud to have on my team and proud to say that they’re products of the Newton Public Schools.
This is one of the things I’ll be thinking about when my training for Boston gets tough. These students and many more like them are who will be benefitting from my efforts to support Newton Schools Foundation through my marathon training. NSF helps to provide a deserving student body with fantastic opportunities to grow as thoughtful, creative, and caring individuals. To me, that’s an amazing way to complement the extraordinary academic accomplishments that students are making as well.
And, of course, when the going gets tough with this training, I’ll also remember that I’m lucky to work directly – together – with such a great group of students on the marathon team at South.