Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ilse's Raspberry

"Ilse, a childhood friend of mine, once found a raspberry in the camp and carried it in her pocket all day to present it to me that night on a leaf.
Imagine a world in which your entire possession is one raspberry and you give it to your friend."

-- Holocaust survivor
This quote was engraved on a Holocaust memorial in Boston's historical Little Italy district. Since reading it for the first time a few weeks ago, I can't say how many times I've reflected on this story.

I am humbled every time.

One of my assignments, coming back from this trip, was to explore some of the poets, songwriters and storytellers who've written books or stories with the intention of making America better. After reviewing these, I was then to write a seven to eight page paper telling a story from my own journey across America with the intention of being helpful to the American citizenry. I can only hope that within several hundred words I wrote something that will provoke some good.

It only took 50 words to convey in Ilse's story a message that, for me, is much more powerful than any of the many other stories I read during the trip.

Teachers should never underestimate a student's appreciation for their lessons; the true learning of a formal lesson happens while looking back during a real life experience.


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