In the most adverse situations, harmony is a useful thing.
Comment: Concordia is one of my favorite Latin words. It is a compound of the
preposition “cum” and the word for heart in the plural, “cordia”. So,
literally, Concordia means “with hearts, or with hearts (working) together”.
Adverse situations abound. Almost all adversity, at some level, includes the
dynamic of human beings who are lost from each other. Some years ago, I had a
student in my class who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. It is a mild
form of Autism that generally makes social interaction painful and difficult
for the individual, and hence, painful and difficult for those they are around!
Those with Asperger’s themselves range in severity. This student had, as I
have come to see, a fairly severe form. Walking into a room and sitting down
was an ordeal for him, every day, every hour when the bell rang. Latin was the
last thing on his mind. It was easy to think of how much easier my job would
be if they would just put him in another class.
Here was a child who was in many respects lost from himself. But, he was lost
to me and I to him as well. In other words, we were not connecting, our hearts
were not together. Toward the end of the semester, I had my students working on
a joint project with the art teacher with modeling clay, and I discovered for
myself how very talented this student was. He sculpted beautiful dragons every
day. His work was captivating, and around those clay dragons he and I met.
He did not learn much Latin. I learned a LOT about Asperger’s and what I needed
to do to be a better teacher for students like him. Every year since then, I
have had at least one student with diagnosed Aspeger’s in my room. Their
adverse situations range—some not so severe, others more severe. Finding a way
for our hearts to meet makes the adversity more humane.
(Used with permission)
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