I have seen enough “tough guys” in my thirty-plus years of teaching to make me ill. You know, the ones who say things like, “If it moves in the woods on a Saturday morning I’m gunna shoot it,” and other such intelligent comments. I’ve seen enough “cool” clothes and hairstyles to make the 80’s look mild. I don’t have time for any of that.
But I do have time for gentlemen, and we do have several of these gentlemen-in-training at our school. (By the way, these do include our junior high and high school-aged young men.)
One of them walked up to my desk today during lunch, the time of day when I am dropping pieces of food on the students’ papers as I grade them. He had a beautiful, fragile butterfly resting on the tip of his finger. He also had a big smile on his face. He explained to me that he found the poor insect upside down in a cold puddle of rain water on this, our first real day of fall here in Texas. Thinking it was dead, he picked it up to bring for morning science and found that it was alive. He, like a gentleman, rescued it. He brought it to me, and I suggested that he place it on the plant on my desk. Next I advised that he find a flower for it to drink from while it warmed up inside the school.
The butterfly was on the rose when I left this afternoon, saved from a cold puddle of rain water by a young gentleman. Our schools and churches need more young men like this.