Incredibly Touching

Discussion in 'Jokes' started by Ashna, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Ashna

    Ashna Bronze IL'ite

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    Incredibly Touching

    Her name was Mrs. Bates. As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Tom Williams.

    Mrs. Bates had watched Tom the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Tom could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Bates would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Bates taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Tom's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

    Tom's first grade teacher wrote, "Tom is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."

    His second grade teacher wrote, "Tom is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."

    His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death had been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."

    Tom's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Tom is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."

    By now, Mrs. Bates realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Tom's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.

    Mrs. Bates took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

    Tom Williams stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Bates, today you smelled just like my Mom used to". After the children left she cried for at least an hour.

    On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to tea ch children. Mrs. Bates paid particular attention to Tom. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded.

    By the end of the year, Tom had become one of smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Tom became one of her "teacher's pets."

    A year later, she found a note under her door, from Tom, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

    Six years went by before she got another note from Tom. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

    Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Bates that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life. Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was little longer --the letter was signed, Thomas F.Williams, MD.

    The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Tom said he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Bates might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Bates did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Tom remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

    They hugged each other, and Dr. Williams whispered in Mrs. Bates's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Bates for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."

    Mrs. Bates, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Tom, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."

    Please remember that wherever you go, and whatever you do, you will have the opportunity to touch and / or change a person's outlook. Please try to do it in a positive way.


  2. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Your article touched me

    Dear Ashna,
    Your article touched me. My son is 14 year old. He has different IQs in different things. He finds it hard to do very simple, day to day errands or work, bu easily does some very difficult and hard things. He was hyper active and he had learning disablility. His school was very co operative and helped a lot. Most of the teachers understood and treated him the right way. But one or two teachers were very rough, they thought that he was lazy. He was slow in taking out things from his bags as he had problems with fine motor movements of his fingers. He was slow in class, but we always taught him at home and he did well in tests and exams. Even now he gets such experiences, I tell him that some people like you, some don't. So do not fret over it. Nobody is a genius in everything.
  3. Sharada

    Sharada Senior IL'ite

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    make a difference

    I guess we all can make a difference in someone's life. A kind thought, gesture, a hand of reassurance can even bring someone back from suicide point. Thanks Ashna for sharing this with us.
  4. nuggehallipankaja

    nuggehallipankaja New IL'ite

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    Inspiring story!

    The story you have narrated is the best I have heard

    or read so far........the human feeling portrayed cannot

    but inspire even the most callous to follow the example

    of Mrs.Bates; Yes, there are many 'Toms' waiting

    in the wings for such helping hands. Thanks,, Ashna.

    Nuggehalli Pankaja
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2006

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