Nathan's Aunt Charly just starter her Master's in Education and the other day I sent her an email asking how classes were going. The following was her reply (reprinted with permission).
“my teachers are pretty cool this semester. The one tonight had us bring in three items that define us or represent who we are. We put the items in bags and put the bags at the front of the room. During class, there was a figure of a man on the floor made by tape, to look like a crime scene with tape around a body. Toward the end of class we all got up and picked a bag (with items inside) from the front of the room (not ours of course) and brought them back to our seats. We then had to look at the items and place them around the "body" on the floor and describe the perpetrator based on those items! Then we had to pick a person in the room who we thought the items belonged to. So, in my bag I put a pic of Nathan, love of my life! A necklace that was made for me by a Kindergarten boy, Preston, on my last day of Student Teaching in his Kindergarten (it was my first homemade gift from a student that I taught), and Hawaii travel brochure to symbolize my Travel Agent background and impending certification. The girl who got my items made up a story based on my items about a girl who really wanted to go to Hawaii but couldn't because she got pregnant and had a baby and then she strangled a man with her necklace. hehe! Funny thing, nobody chose me because the pic of Nathan made them think it was someone who had a baby and the girls at my table know that I don't have a baby! Then we explained our items and their meaning. I said the baby is not mine. He is my nephew, the love of my life, and he has Down syndrome, so seeing him grow and learn has granted me a different perspective on children with disabilities one different than one I already have adopted by being a teacher of children with varying strengths and characteristics.”