Pillows

Asha Bandal

Asha Bandal

I am currently in my eleventh year teaching at St. Christopher’s School. I never imagined myself working at a school for all boys, but now I can’t imagine being anywhere else. For those who are not familiar with what it is like to work with adolescent boys, let me illustrate it for you with a story about pillows. Stay with me….

Every year, St. Christopher’s participates in the Monument Avenue 10K to raise money for the Massey Cancer Center here in Richmond. Several years ago, teenage boys started St. ChristoCURES (the school’s team), and I am one of the faculty sponsors. It is incredibly uplifting to see the students motivate their community to participate in the event and raise as much money as possible for cancer research. Knowing how much St. ChristoCURES has come to mean to me, my aunt made some of my old race shirts into pillows for my classroom couch. The boys immediately took to the pillows and soon were cuddling them, smashing them, throwing them, and smacking each other around with them. One day after I received the pillows, they were already ripped open with stuffing pouring out. Boys were dismayed about the sad state of the pillows so soon after they entered their lives. They would say, “How did this happen?” with disgust as they subconsciously were12108147_10153670262746064_4795777070752229384_n pulling at the stuffing themselves. Later that week, an 11th grade boy asked me if I wanted him to sew the pillows back together. He didn’t ask me to do it, and thankfully he didn’t ask me how to do it since I know little to nothing about anything domestic. Soon after, he came into my classroom with some friends during a free period, and two of them took it upon themselves to sew the pillows back together. There was nothing in it for them other than just helping out. As I sat with that group of guys casually chatting about topics ranging from their classes to football, it warmed my heart to see two of them with their needles and thread. This is the sort of juxtaposition I witness every day. Boys can be tough, but they can also be incredibly thoughtful.

On a regular basis, my students ask me if I’m going to work at St. Christopher’s forever. I honestly think I have the best job in the world. Every single day I come home with stories about the funny, inspirational, sarcastic, loving, and sometimes even enlightened things the boys have said that day. Not being able to bring anything too delicate into my classroom is a small price to pay for being able to work with these fantastic young people.

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  • pain says:

    I like it very much 🙂