Day 187 Talented Cook

June 14, 2015
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th years where I write and illustrate a blog on each day’s gift.)
Patrick Cook, former George Fox Middle School student, performed in Candide with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff in Baltimore. Photo by David Ettlin

When I taught middle school, every day was a matter of survival. Within one class I might have some 7th graders acting like 4th graders and others acting like 10th graders. And those same students at either end of the spectrum might switch places behaviorally the very next day. It was not boring but it was exhausting. During those years, there were successes too, especially when I had the privilege of being an enrichment teacher for three years.

There are some students I remain connected with through Facebook and I’ve been able to see them join the adult world. I treasure these connections. Some still struggle while others are showing success in various fields. One of these students is Patrick Cook who showed promise as a student at George Fox Middle, especially when he performed in a school production of Bye Bye Birdie. His less mature peers did not always appreciate his intellect and talent but Patrick continued moving forward. After Fox, he graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts, the University of Maryland, Bard Conservatory and The Juilliard School.

It was with great pleasure today that I saw him in his first performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff, playing several different roles in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. What a voice and stage presence! And how he could move! Dancing! I remember an earnest, sometimes awkward middle schooler and today I saw him as a confident, talented adult. After the performance, I waited in the lobby so I could hug and congratulate him. He was glowing with a proud and contagious smile. 

My gift today was pride in a former Fox student.

> Day 188: Well-Versed

You can find links to my other posts on this project here:

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