Oakdale Paw Print

Bear-y Merry Christmas

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by Oakdale Staff member, Mr. Wilson

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the school

Not a teacher was grading except one old fool.

He looked up from his desk at a vision so weird:

A bright shimm’ring spirit, an angel appeared!

He (she, it?) said: “Do not fear me old man, I bring you great news!

I’ve got a solution for your Christmas blues!

We know you’re conflicted at this time of year…sssooooo…

(He passed a sack toward me)…The answer’s in here!”

I stared some long moments and took in the scene:

A starry-eyed visitor clad red and green

Had come from above with a face full of love…

Placed his hand on my shoulder as soft as a dove.

I said: “Hey, I’m quite tired…must I write this in rhyme?”

He said: “No, I do American English just fine.”

I said: “That’s a relief,” as I took in more scene

And pondered the visit of this holy being.

Angel: “Now…about your conflict. You hate it when people jam the shopping centers and fight over big-screen

TVs and X-boxes and cellphones, right? ( I nodded my head in agreement.) OK….and you hate it when your

relatives don’t want to exchange Christmas presents anymore, Right?”

Me: “I guess I do.”

Angel: “That’s compartmentalization, dude. You can’t have it both ways. How are your relatives going to get you

something if you don’t let them go to the mall?”

Me: “Yeah…I guess you’re right…yeah.”

Angel: “OK…this brings me to my visit. Here’s your first heavenly Christmas present: Wisdom. Christmas isn’t

just the 25th of December. Meditate on that awhile.” (He was silent for five minutes.)

Me: “OK, I meditated (I’m lousy at that, but anyway…)”

Angel: “Your second big gift is in the bag.”

(I reached in and pulled a stack of Christmas cards out that were bound in ribbon. There were quite a number

more inside, also bundled in ribbon.)

Me: “Do I open these?” (The angel nodded in agreement.)

Angel: “Now…open each and read the inscriptions on the back of the enclosed photographs.”

I opened a few and realized that each envelope contained a picture on an OHS faculty member. The first held a picture of Colleen Bernard and on the back it said: “She gives the gift of dedication to the fallen and injured.”

The second of was of Suzanne Adams and stated: “she gives the gift of dedication to her students.”

The third was Dan Mulcahy: ” He gives the gift of a fire-heart to his players.”

The fourth was of Marie Harold: “She brings the gift of a fresh outlook and a wild new spirit!”

I stopped and asked: “Who inscribed these?” (I ran my fingers along the letters and felt tingling in my fingers!)

Angel:( He pointed UP and spoke): “You-Know-Who.”

There were many more:  From Dave Lillard: The gift of a happy spirit.   From Dorian Parker: The gift of strength.

From Mike Miller: The gift of his humor and his beautiful silver hair.   From Dr. Dorsey: The gift of her dignity.

The many gifts continued:  From Jeff: His gentle style of command.  From Coach Krivos: His fierce will to win.

From Beth Nave: The love of her players.  From Dr. Crum: The length and breadth of his knowledge.

From Kate Ehrlich: Her intensity and combat experience (4 tours in TJ).  From Erin Moravy: her smile and charm.

From Lindsey Donnely: Her friendliness and combat experience (8 tours in FHS!)

From Dr. Schoder: putting in so many hours for his colleagues. From Jerry Walker: His incisive wit.

From Mike Gough: His love of students and mastery of the difficult.  From Amy S.Pyles: her craftsmanship.

From Bill Caulfield: His bright sharp mind. From Diane Sliger: Her will to break through to the less fortunate.

From Alexia: Her love of student excellence. From Ron Socash: his cheer and carpentry skills.

From Brett Maceikis: His bright and fun spirit. From Mr. Metts: His willingness to deal with the complex, and with patience.

From Jen Cole: her bearing and elegance.    From Jonelle: Her love of life!…and spanish,too!

From Betheny Brown: Her quiet professionalism.   From Nate Smarick: His deep love of his subject.

From Carrie Mehl: Her radiant warmth.    From Lauren Graziano: her great big smile!

From Melissa Watson: The beauty of her choreography.  From Kurt Stein: building a team of men from boys.

From Melinda Machande: her gift of bearing up under pain and coming back to us!

That was the end of THAT bundle. I reached in for another but the angel stopped me. His message to me here was

painful: “There are more people here to recognize, but you never took the time to know them. It will be the responsibility of their colleagues to recognize them and I have bundles of photos and inscriptions for them as well.

They need only ask for their angel to come. Now I must leave you. But before I go, do you remember seeing the movie “Men in Black?” You know…the one where Will Smith takes out the flashy red thing and shines it in peoples’ eyes and they can’t remember anything after it pops? LOOK… I”VE GOT  ONE!” POPPP!!

I rubbed my eyes…must’ve dozed off at my desk…looked at the clock…I’ve been out for over an hour…crazy dream, can’t remember it. But…something was…. different for me: I realized that so many of you are gifted in so many ways, and that the Creator, however you conceive of Him(Her), has blessed OHS with so much talent that truly it IS Christmas every day here. Your work here is beautiful, vital, and critical. His gifts to you are His gifts to me. I see them every day. I hope you can see them in each other. In my now aging body I’m striving to stay with you for one more day, one more month, one more year. Wish me luck. Your bear, Steve W.

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School
Bear-y Merry Christmas