Guardian Angel In A Class The Show Miracle
Guardian Angel In A Class The Show The Miracle And The Easter Surprise Testimonials
About a year ago a friend of mine, a literature teacher in a high school called me, she was desperate.
She had been assigned a very troublesome new class; soon after the beginning of the school year a little Jewish girl in that class left her class for a new one and in reply to the question to her from the headmaster of the new school (a Jewish school ) 'Why are you joining our school after the school year started?' the girl said: 'because they insulted me for being Jewish'. The issue clearly was not resolved and articles about this ill-famed class appeared on all newspapers in Rome Italy.
Even though following an inquest from the Minister of Education the class and the teachers were absolved, the situation with the class was tragic: the class register was full of notes, by now starting from the teachers all the way across to the students they were all regarded as criminals and they were slowly slowly getting accustomed to this image and they were coming up with increasingly cruel pranks.
'I had a slightly crazy idea' this friend of mine told me 'I would like to choreograph a play for these people to help them re-assess the experience, otherwise they will end up in a really bad way, you know, she added, there are good elements in that class, they are not so bad, it would be such a shame, can you help me??'
Neither of them had ever written a show before, let alone taught young men and women to act, but we decided to try anyway. We both thought about it for a while, then we arranged to meet on the Sunday afternoon. The first thing we did was light a white candle, a jasmine incense stick and we asked from the bottom of our heart that an Angel would help us in this mission, as we really needed it. Then we started to work; the idea that I had had following her encouragement sounded good to her and therefore we began to choose the characters, basing them on the characteristics of each single student.
Every Sunday afternoon we would light up the candle and the incense and we would get to work, if it was not me coming up with an idea it was her, or her daughter, or her son giving us the right suggestion. And so it was that, thanks to the Angels, over the course of only 4 Sundays we wrote the entire comedy.
The rehearsals began and the students contributed by further embellishing the text, there was still a lot of confusion and my friend told me: 'You know, they are studying the comedy, but it does not look as if they are reflecting over the actual meaning of the text, could you come to the school??' That morning I said 'All right Angels, let's go to the school to these people'.
The teachers, the janitors and the school headmistress as well as the kids knew that I would have arrived there that morning; I felt as if I was being watched like a little kitten entering a lion's cage, everybody was very busy telling me how bad those students were and when the headmistress told me 'Have courage, you will need it' I turned to my friend and I told her 'Thank goodness I trust in your teacher's instinct!!!!' and I followed her into the classroom.
On the register was the latest note and the first thing I thought was that it was not fair that the whole class would be punished just because two people started joking between themselves, but this is how things worked there. Then we went to the theatre and they showed me the work that they had done so far. There was so much to do still but what caught my attention the most, above the screeching from three teachers that were there, and the confusion from the kids, and the constant asking every two seconds to go to the bathroom etc, was that the kids were negatively influencing one another, instead of trying, they were becoming more and more lazy and inhibited by the minute. So I decided that every Wednesday morning I would go to help them.
Even though the work progressed very slowly, we were also building a rapport between us, I had already seen a few nice traits in the kids and every Wednesday morning, with a smile on my face, met by the perplexed looks of the janitors and teachers alike, accompanied by the Angels, I would enter that class. My friend, though, was right, it did not look as if they were reflecting on the words of the comedy and on their experience, so we tried to promote directly this reflection, they did not seem very receptive so my friend decided, two weeks before the show was due to play, without telling me anything about it, to throw in a provocation, just like in the text of the actual comedy, where at one point the circus is at risk of closing down, she got up and said, 'That's it, we can't go on like this, the show will not take place', it was a shock for the kids and for me too, as I still did not know anything about it. Amid a series of protests and begging that sprung up as a result, I approached my friend and I asked her ' Do you really want to stop everything?' and she replied candidly 'No, don't you see it? It's like in the comedy, only now they will experience it in real life, go on, see what you can do'.
What a sticky situation she put me in!! All of the kids were on the stage and all of the teachers on the benches and there I was, the messenger between the two groups trying to find a way.
When at one point I felt as if I was really stuck in a corner, I sat down and the Angel suggested the way to approach it and the person to go to. I looked at my friend and I whispered 'Maybe I have got it' I got up and I went to Francesca and I told her, repeating a sentence that she had told me 'You know my dear I too believe that you are not bad people and it's specifically to this part of the classroom that I want to talk; this is the part of the classroom that must decide if and how this comedy will go on'. My friend got up and said 'we will leave you alone to allow you to discuss it in peace, when you will be ready call us, we are out here'. We got up and with the corner of my eye I saw the miracle, they had started forming a circle so that they could all look at each other and Francesca took charge of the situation. My heart swelled up and I knew then that everything would turn out for the best.
They had discussions following the noblest democratic guidelines, they proposed, they voted, all of this in the utmost quiet. Finally they called us in again and a new chapter began from that moment.
Two weeks later, in front of a theatre that could not seat all of the people that had come to see it, they had their first, great success, which was repeated on three other occasions, but at the end of the first play I went to Francesca and I told her, after paying her compliments for the show 'But tell me, who was checking on you between scenes? There was absolute silence' and she replied with extraordinary calm 'Nobody, we handled it ourselves'.
Ah, if you could have seen the face of the head mistress, the teachers and the janitors, in fact it was one of the latter that with an astonished look told us 'I never would have believe it.... I never would have believed that they would be so good' And you know what the Easter surprise was? The kids won the first prize in poetry and will receive the prize on the third of May from the Mayor of Rome; once again they will end up on the newspapers, but this time for a beautiful achievement!!!
Title Guardian Angel In A Class The Show The Miracle And The Easter Surprise Testimonials
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