by cheri block
Last week, one of our bright young English teachers, Sandhya Khandavalli, was waiting at the San Francisco BART station for her train to Fremont. Something stressful was about to happen.
Brisk and furtive, the wind in the station increased in velocity. Ms. Khandavalli pulled her English 7/8 student papers closer to her body, but to no avail: unbeknownst to her, the drafty wind, increased by the oncoming train, sucked her papers into a tiny twister and whirled them onto the BART tracks.
According to an over-achieving interloper who resides within Sandhya’s mind, she temporarily (note: temporarily) considered jumping down into the tracks to retrieve the papers. After all, such dedication is what the clientele at Mill Creek Academy is paying for: paper correction.
Recovering her sanity, Ms. Khandavalli ran in very high heels down the station, screaming and waving to the on coming BART operator, beckoning him to stop his train.
The most remarkable part of this story is that he did. He stopped. He got out of his train. He picked up our students’ papers and gave them to a grateful Ms. Khandavalli.
As the owner of Mill Creek Academy, I am tempted to praise the dramatic performance and intentions of my teacher, but I would be remiss if some credit did not also go to the BART operator.
In an age when people, businesses, and institutions disappoint us for their lack of concern, inattention to detail, and poor focus, this story is a beautiful juxtaposition of two dynamic people doing more than they had to do.
As I have always said, much of the educational process is dependent on the teacher and her/his ability to relate, cajole, and motivate students of all ages.