The impossible, the miracle…..

by Rod Smith

A framed Jock Leyden cartoon hung for years in my dad’s Red Hill tea room. Jock Leyden was an ubiquitous sports and political cartoonist who lived in Durban for most of his life.

“The impossible we do immediately. Miracles take a little longer,” read the caption. 

My literal, pre-adolescent brain didn’t get it. I wrote it off as not funny at all. Jokes were supposed to be funny. I get it now. How? When? I get it every time I meet a teacher. Watch them. Listen to them. They are women and men often conquering the impossible in the immediate. Their reward, the miracle, may take decades to unfold.

I have seen it with the women and men who were my sons’ teachers. I have seen it with friends who are teachers. They take what they have got, or not got, and run with it. They often spend their own money, scrounge for materials, take what appears unusable and transform it into material for learning.

That’s a teacher! They take a child who is wild at heart, resistant to books, and help her to turn herself into a leading scientist. They take a recalcitrant boy, love him, encourage him, discipline him, and now call him doctor as he attends to the needs of his teacher’s grandchild.

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