(Photo by Carol Walker)
Ever since I was a little girl of single digit age, my favorite animal in the world has been a giraffe. I do not know exactly when my fascination began, but I believe it started with a Book About Me, whose main characters were me and a giraffe named Nitsirk (my first name spelled backward). I loved reading the book and reliving the adventures that we shared, over and over again. As I grew older, my admiration for the beautiful animal transformed from simply loving a childhood book to being intrigued by an awkwardly graceful animal. I am not quite sure what has fascinated me so much about this towering creature, but being a fairly short person of 5'2", I suspect that the animal's enchantment to me is its statuesque presence.
As a math teacher, I have numerous mathematical posters and inspirational sayings hanging around my classroom. The room is also decorated with several photos of the Ladybug and my family, as well as various student-art projects that former students have given me over the years. Yet, when you look around my room, one thing is perfectly clear... I still love giraffes. Through the years students have made me gifts of painted posters and pictures of giraffes that I proudly display throughout the room. Each year students add to the collection with their creations. However, I was not prepared for the special gift that a current student of mine created for me for Christmas.
I opened the gift anxiously on Monday morning, the first day back to school after our Christmas break. I was not expecting a gift, especially now that we are in the month of January. I carefully opened the gift, and was excited to see an adorable, 1 1/2 foot tall, stuffed animal, toy giraffe. I immediately thanked the student for the very generous gift, whereupon he stated that he handmade made the toy giraffe (with a little help from his grand mother) during the Christmas break. My jaw dropped in complete shock with the realization that this perfect gift was not purchased, but rather hand-stitched just for me.
As I look at this gift that is sitting in my lap as I write, I am still in awe that a student took the time during his vacation to create a special gift for me. I am so deeply touched by this gift (which actually includes personal stitching on it that says, "To Mrs. K, From T"). This is truly the best gift that I have ever received as a teacher. Thank you T, from the bottom of my heart for this generous gift!
The new giraffe.
The Ladybug giving my new giraffe some great big hugs.
22 hours ago