A Typical NYMA Week in March


As Operations Coordinator (and sometimes blogger), I enjoy where I sit. I am the first to be greeted by the youngins because they have to punch in a code on my desk in order to get situated. I am also as close to our bookcase as I can be,  where students visit the shelves at least twice within the two hours that they are here. It’s during that time they choose to say the cutest, funniest, and most quotable things to me.

Occasionally, I am also given such adorable, colorful gifts by our very young artist, Papa–featured here.

by Papa

I pitched this blog idea to Francois (our Founder), and when he approved, of course I got overly excited. As a poet, I normally jot down whatever gives me the feels, and it’s nice to share that with others, especially when it comes to these bright children whom I spend most of my day with. In this series, get ready to read all the funny and cute things that goes on here at least once a month. I may even occasionally post found poems consisting of things they say directly to me because, that’s the best part of my day, (besides warming up my packed lunch and eating it.) At around 4PM, you’ll hear, “Ms. Crystal is eating! Shhhhhhh. Now’s not the time to ask her to sharpen our pencil.” But I sharpen them anyway.

The other day, one of our tiny guys whispered,  “Ms. Crystal. I have a girl’s lunchbox today. My sister’s. I don’t like it and don’t want anyone to see it.” I tell him not to worry. I take the lunchbox into the back room and put it’s contents on a paper plate. But not without letting him know it’s perfectly okay to have a flower on your lunch box. Boys and girls can–and should–love flowers. (I’m so looking forward to Earth Day.) He decided right there and then to show off his flowered lunch box.

Next day, same kid: “So it’s just you and me up here?” Yes, I replied. “So let’s talk.” What would you like to talk about? “How was your childhood?” I admitted that it could’ve been better and asked how his was. He replied with, “So far, so good. I go to many places.” Oh? Where have you traveled to? “Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Here are some wise words from Alhagi: “If you want to double your money, put what you have in front of a mirror.” I think I may give that a try.

And last but not least, our lovely Zeinab who is our latest Student Highlight: “Ms. Crystal, I have something on my mind. Why do blind people wear sunglasses?” I told her Light is a very powerful thing. Some wear them because their eyes are sensitive to the light. She closed her eyes as tightly as she could and said, quite simply, “Light is.”



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