"Mahalo Nui Loa"
--by hiloecho, posted Dec 16, 2006
I just finished my Human Services practicum and as much as I loved the class and the instructor, I was dissapointed with my classmates. It was a small class - just 12 of us - and the other students took advantage of the instructor's kindness with late work, excuses for not completing assignments, etc.
During the last 3 weeks of class, she was expressing her dissatisfaction and how she was going to have to re-think how she taught the class next semester. I really felt bad for her as she is a great inspiration to me and I could relate to her pain.
In Chicken Soup for the Soul, there is a story about two guys walking down the beach covered with starfish. One guy is throwing the starfish back into the ocean as they walk. The other guy says "There are thousands of them you can't possibly make a difference." At that moment the other guy had thrown one back and said it made a difference to that one.
Knowing the instructor loves honu's (hawaiian for turtle), I found a small wooden bowl with a lid that has turtles carved into it. Inside I put a starfish along with a laminated circle that said "Mahalo Nui Loa " "You made a difference to this one" to show my appreciation and respect for not only a wonderful instructor but a wonderful person.
I had a similar happening when I was working on my master's degree. Most of the students just did not seem to take a class seriously. An assignment was due and on the due date I was the only student who was prepared and handed in the assignment.
I few weeks later I had a tragedy happen in my family. The car my son was driving hit a post, blew a tire and rolled. A young girl was killed in the freakish accident. The final class was just two or three days later. I was still shaking with grief and shock. Each person handed in their final project. when the teacher got to mine she quietly said, "I don't need to check your work. I know it is well done. You have already proven that to me."
She kindly paid me back for respecting the class and teacher enough to have my lessons done.
Mahalo for sharing your story.