Saturday, November 18, 2017

On Minions, Team Work, and Other Things

I usually start writing my blog while I am getting
Grocery shopping with my sister
chemo (my magical joy juice), and I have little else to do. These past few weeks have been mostly good, and yet my level of activity has been extremely exhausting, so that is why this blog is a day late and a dollar short.  On the plus side, we have had quite a few out of town guests visiting us recently.

Because one of the guests was in disbelief that my NEIFPE (Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education) friends call themselves my minions, we had a Minion party so that she and her husband could see that all of this is done in good fun, and usually, I am the butt of all of their jokes and silliness.

Having said that, my minions  have been a major source of strength both before and since cancer schmantzer has become the recent focus of my life. These good people have all stepped up to the plate to take over most of the responsibilities that I have usually assumed, which has resulted in the continuity and seamlessness of our work of supporting and fighting to save public schools. Through their care and concern, they have shown the true meaning of teamwork.

While many people think that teamwork is simply a matter of working together, I see it differently. Whether it is in the classroom or in any social situation, true teamwork is often an act of love as shown in these words from William Wordsworth in Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey:
...the best portion of a good [person’s] life; His [Her] little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love...”

In other words, these are people who don’t need to get credit for what they do, but rather what they do is a matter of working together for our sense of community, for the common good, and for what we all think is important, and one of our primary goals is to bring back the joy of learning to children which seems to have been snatched away from them.

My NEIFPE friends and I don’t take ourselves seriously, but we take our work seriously....and despite the fact that pushing back against the likes of Betsy DeVos and her ilk (and our Indiana legislature) feels like a Sisyphean task, we keep doing it because it is our calling.

We all face personal challenges, and while the challenge that I am currently facing is a health issue, that doesn’t make mine any more significant than those who are facing other life changing issues. While I cannot change or fix their challenges, my hope is that as we face our own difficulties, that we  deal with what lies before us with dignity, grace, kindness, and love (and a sense of humor), and we all might come out better on the other side.


  1. That’s a wonderful quote. As I read obituaries I often think that these people have done such amazing things and I have not. But that quote comforts. How much longer does the chemo continue? I have maintained all along that your attitude and optimism and support group Will get you through cancer shmanzer . And it is. Love ‘n’ God Bless!

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Jeanne. My chemo will be finished on December 11th. :)