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Yes, I Am Grateful

November 29, 2013

I know it is something of a cliché to write posts with this title near Thanksgiving, but I am going to for a couple of reasons. One, it’s now Friday–Thanksgiving is over! The real reason, though, is that something rather extraordinary happened to me at work this Monday, I feel compelled to write about it in these terms.

Don’t worry–next time, I will return to the Duck Valley Reservation to continue my story as a Part-Time Indian. You won’t want to miss my foray into civil disobedience. Until then…

You may recall the amazing response I had to World Parkinson’s Day last April. In that case, I planned the event, communicated it to my students and colleagues, and asked for their assistance. If you read that post, you know how everyone came through in a big way. This past Monday, however, my colleagues and friends at the high school really outdid themselves.

PAN

I’m one of the first people who arrive at the school, so I rarely see my colleagues when I enter the building. However, as they began to arrive, I noticed that many of them were all wearing the same button: a button with a circle and a line through the letters “PD.” These buttons were created by the Parkinson’s Action Network, and they are part of the Network’s campaign to stomp out Parkinson’s. I had never before seen the buttons, but I had plenty of opportunities to make up for that because all of my colleagues–teachers, administrators, custodians, secretaries, instructional assistants–were wearing them. And they were doing so in honor of my birthday.

Moreover, upon entering the teacher’s lounge, I noticed a massive cake with the words “Happy Birthday, Kevin” and several more NO PD logos decorating the frosting. It turns out Sandy, the school nurse, and two other teachers (Jeff and Diane) hatched this master plan to show support for my fight against my illness, and decided the best way to show that support is by surprising me on my birthday. Anyone who knows me has probably worked out that I had a lot of trouble keeping my eyes dry that day. I certainly felt supported–and tremendously special.

So that’s one of the reasons I am grateful this week. Do you like and admire your work colleagues? That’s great, but let me tell you something–I will put my coworkers up against any other group of coworkers anywhere. I know they’d come out on top.

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