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Monday, May 16, 2016

Dirty Slate

Weekends bring with them restoration and strength to begin another week in spite of a chalk-filled blackboard but a week ago. 

Blackboards aren't ideal. The chalk taps and streaks with annoying repetition, the sandy grit plasters fingers, a residue appears when erased, and words are caked on top of the past. Just the thought of scraping fingers penetrates the mind. 

Friday arrives. The teacher looks at the board in aggravation. She sees the remnants of her week and wonders if the work has really done any good. She leaves the class. The filthy chalkboard can stay until the following week. Perhaps things will be different if they see what she sees. 

But what good is a dirty slate? One can only write so many words on smudges before the words begin to blend, obscuring what's most important. 

The janitor steps into the classroom to complete his afternoon tasks. The work is dirty-wipe desks, check for sticky gum in crevices, sweep and mop, and empty wastebaskets. He sees the chalkboard that the teacher didn't bother to clean, but he's not upset. He knows her job is difficult. End results are a long way off in her position. His work is evidenced on a daily basis. Feeling compassion for the teacher, he grabs a bucket full of water and a white cloth. Submerging the cloth in water, he lifts it up, squeezes the excess water, and begins wiping the board from one side to the other. He finishes the task of cleaning the room, walks to the door, and takes in his work. 

This is a place of learning. The slate is clean. She'll be relieved. She'll begin the week with hope. 

To be continued...

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