Surprise Snow-day

Yesterday I got up early as usual to get ready and head out to St. Peters (about 45 minutes west).  I happened to glance out the window…and it was snowing!  I checked the traffic and it said the traffic was a mess, the roads were a mess, etc, so I made a snap decision to cancel my morning.  I didn’t want to mess around for a very small amount of money and two classes.  Sorry guys!

I taught the rest of the day as the snow changed over to rain and became very slushy.  I had a new adult student today, and another new adult next week (the adults are easier to squeeze in as they can come a little later than kids).  Do other teachers find they are getting more adults wanting to play?  I have quite a few 20-somethings.  I’m glad—I think anybody can learn violin at any age if they are willing to practice a bit, and it’s a great skill to have.

I got really upset today at something a student said (I didn’t show it).  One of my students had mentioned the Japanese tsunami/earthquake situation, and I was concerned they might be worried about it, so I asked “how do you feel about it?”   They thought a bit, and then said “well, more people will be in hell now.”  I was completely shocked.  I asked what they meant, and evidently they had been studying Japan and learned that the primary religion was Buddhist, and therefore those people were going to hell, as they weren’t Christian. What’s more, the student didn’t seem that concerned either way.  I just didn’t know what to say, so I quickly changed the subject.

I went to the bathroom after the student and cried a bit.  Where is the compassion for people?  Where is the love for humanity?  Where is the concern for others?  How is a child being taught this? 

I’m almost done with the book I’ve been reading “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson. The book has been an emotional read (perhaps I was also quite raw from reading it beforehand) that really brings to life the atrocities brought upon African Americans in the past, particularly the Jim Crow laws in the South—some being in place into the 1970’s—the decade of my birth!  Something that seemed so long ago to me suddenly seems so real and so recent, and the author does a terrific job really bringing the stories to life (I highly recommend reading this book.)  What really hits me is that not only are some of the people who were treated in this way still alive, but those who TREATED THEM THIS WAY are still.  And imagine what they may have taught their children. 

I’ve mentioned I was raised in the south, and racism was very present in my hometown.  Racism is still very much alive in our country today everywhere, no matter what anybody wants to think.  If it’s not African Americans who are being judged and discriminated against, it’s people of Arab descent, or SCHOOL TEACHERS.  Why can’t we all just respect one another and live together, and realize we can all coexist peacefully?  Don’t we all want similar things in life?  Food, shelter, love?  Isn’t the world a more interesting place with all different kinds of people?

Being a Suzuki teacher is about teaching love.  Where love is deep, much can be accomplished.  Suzuki was a from Japan.  Maybe that is why that comment hurts so much…to think that somebody could condemn such a wonderful, loving man to hell…it’s just ridiculous to me.  It makes me nauseous.

2 thoughts on “Surprise Snow-day”

  1. Although I agree that was a very strange response from student to teacher (very blunt, and yes, reflective of how the family might talk around this child), it doesn’t necessarily mean that compassion and humanity don’t exist among Christians (or any other religion that think they are the one and only true religion and all else are doomed to hell or anything like it). I just look at it as they genuinely believe there’s one path and they are on the right one and anyone else who isn’t on it, well, unfortunately, aren’t going to make it to heaven.
    But I suppose that’s the beauty of choice in this country…freedom of religion. Just don’t forget that even though it sounds like this kid is being raised in a fundamentalist Christian home, plenty of other religions preach sort of the same thing: Islam refers to non-Moslems as “infidels”; Jehovah’s Witnesses (although, I guess they’re more of a cult, not a religion!) think there are only 144,000 people who will make it to heaven, and hell…even among Christians, there’s so much dispute over what’s right and wrong, is there a hell or heaven and how do we get there?

    I agree–I wish we could all get along and just pursue all the simple things, but unfortunately, there will always be those out there that have extreme viewpoints and take it just a step too far with those beliefs.

    1. Thank you for your comment–you made some good points! I shouldn’t let one student’s comment be reflective of an entire group of people, nor should I forget that there are many many good people out there. I was just so taken aback!

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