Teachers receive gifts from students at Christmas time. These gifts span the spectrum from mugs with hot chocolate mix to multiple boxes of chocolate covered cherries (one year back in the day when I taught 6th grade, I drove away from Central School for Christmas Vacation with twelve boxes of chocolate covered cherries from my very thoughtful students), to nicely wrapped boxes of peanut brittle as seen above. Some student gifts to teachers are hand made trinkets and cards. Others bake things like cookies, or caramel popcorn balls (my one true weakness and highly addictive). Then there is the last category of gifts.
Matt R wandered into the Center the last day of missions before Christmas Vacation bringing a gift. Rarely do things leave me speechless. Matt's gift did. There, sitting on a paper plate, was something so indescribable I had to take a picture and let it speak for itself.
"It looks like a rainbow threw up on a plate," Brittney said. Brittney got a verbal high 5 for that description. Although my first impression was quite different from hers.
"Are these Unicorn steaks?" I asked. "Do you fry them, grill them, or bake them?"
"They're sugar cookies," Matt answered with a smile that stretched from ear to ear. "I made them in Home Economics."
I took the bow from the beautiful box of brittle (thanks Patrick) and placed it on the 'sugar cookies' thinking the bow would add dignity to the plate. You judge for yourself.
"So, this is what it has come to?" I questioned. "Twenty nine years of teaching and this one memory will stay with me to the end of my days. Thank you Matt. Thank you indeed."
We applauded his effort at mastering the baking arts. In my imagination I pictured Matt's poor Home Economics teacher looking at her student's creation and wondering if she'd wasted her life going into education.
"Give it a try," Matt suggested. I broke off a piece and brought it slowly to my nose. It carried the aroma of Play Dough. I put the piece into my mouth. It had the texture of cookie dough. I swallowed.
"Needs sugar." Then the after taste kicked in. How can I describe it? Imagine eating a cardboard box with a coating of a chemical fire retardant - and that is being kind.
"Matt, you are a brilliant computer programmer. You are well liked by everyone here at the Space Center. You've got a great sense of humor and a compassionate nature BUT you are no baker."
Truthfully, Matt gave us one of the best Space Center Christmas memories ever. His gift made it into The Troubadour and therefore forever enshrined in Space Center yore.
Good on ya Matt.
And to go with Matt's lovely gift, how about a box of Destroyed Alderaan. Brilliant in design and creativity.
And now, How about a few things from the Imaginarium?
I'm thinking I'd like to take this idea (above) and do something similar on the walls of our Control Rooms as a way of keeping track of how many crews we've taken down and how many times we've taken the bridge etc.
Now here's a child that appreciates a good Christmas gift. This kid will make a great
Space Center fan one day.
Humbling when you stop and think about it.
And finally, a series of painting I classify as brilliant done by a Russian artist. I don't know is name but admire his work. Each painting contains a face, yet it doesn't. The Space Center is all about imagination and creativity. Bravo!