This story is from A.M. And it basically explains why every year my principal would complain about putting on a school play and how she really wants to just cancel it, but they have to have t so that even non-academic girls have a chance to shine, but oh the disruption to our studies…
I attended an out-of-town bais ya’akov with a mix of teachers, from all different hashkafos. All of the kodesh teachers were yeshivish or chassidishe, but we had slightly more modern teachers for our English studies.
This story is about my ivrit teacher and how she taught me to care.
I was in tenth grade and our school play was in full swing. In my school, the play is our pride and joy. The actual performance is in March, but we can start tryouts and callbacks as early as November or even September. Two weeks before the play, we have practice every night until ten o’clock. We’re up late, perfecting dances and stage directions, altering costumes and painting scenery. Then we stumbled home, attempted (or not) to do our homework and fell into bed, just to do it again tomorrow.
I was bone tired. I couldn’t handle the workload of school and the intensity of the practices. Like everyone else in my school, we found whatever time we could to nap. Anytime, anywhere.
I dragged myself to my Ivrit classroom an put my head down to rest before class started. When I heard my teacher’s voice, I looked up. Everyone was walking out of the room. The entire period had passed.
I glanced at my teacher, totally embarrassed.
“Mrs. Kurtz, I’m so sorry-”
“Don’t be.” She cut me off with a smile. “You’re tired, you needed rest. I’m a mother, I understand.” With that, she winked at me and left the room to prepare for her next class.
I don’t remember what dikduk Mrs. Kurtz taught me, or many of the milim she tried to drill in our brains. But there is one lesson that stuck with me: what it means to care for others.