Is there a Pollyanna in you?

I believe that some view me as a bit of a Pollyanna...I realize if you are a faithful reader, you have seen a serious dip in my spirit, but if you reflect on where I have been much of the time, I look on the brighter side, give people the benefit of the doubt, take people at their word, try to solve the crises, save the day, be there for who needs it...and so on...I think you get it. I want the world to be a better place and am willing to do the work to do it. Luckily, I have been blessed with a BFF who views the world much like myself. Together, we remind each other to give people a break, console when feelings are hurt, love each other through the hard times. I think there have only been a few times in my life when I have had a friend who is like the other side of my heart...when I was five, in high school, now. Don't get me wrong...I have some other fantastic friends, but only a few in my life that have fallen into the "finish one another's sentences" category. It is both awesome and creepy at times...

So, I believe that there are those that view myself, and most likely her as well, as a pair of Pollyannas. I decided to do some research as to what that truly meant since I have never read the books (I father was an English Teacher, my BFF is one too and I am seriously lacking in my reading of a variety of many, many classics!). In my mind is the Hayley Mills, Disney version of the movie which, I do know, is not entirely true to the book. I mean, really Harry Potter is one of the few movies that is actually true to the book....MOVING ALONG.....

Pollyanna was a sweet young orphan whose father invented the "Glad Game" as a way to teach her to look on the good side. This game helped shield her from her aunt's stern demeanor and, over time, taught the small dismal town a new way to live. Even her stern Aunt Polly icy attitude begins to melt as she, too, begins to believe in the Glad Game. Pollyanna is struck by a car, rendering her paralyzed and, over time, this begins to affect her attitude. As time moves on her friends, neighbors, and townspeople tell her how she has positively affected their lives, and she must remember how important she is to them all. Eventually Pollyanna is sent to rehabilitate her injuries, restoring the use of her legs and, since she was unable to use them in the past, she appreciates her mobility even more than before.

Pollyanna's "Glad Game" is where I try to spend much of my life, especially at school. This year, I feel, has drawn me down far more than in the past, but my desire (and my partner in crime's desire) to have kids, "Make it Happen," and achieve academically and as a citizen of our school, drives much of my teaching life. I am reminded of the important job that I do when I receive word back from my students who are adults, telling me of the powerful affect that I had on them as teenagers.

I am motivated by their success and continue to push my current students and those who will come to me next. I am a child of their neighborhood...I can whip out my mother's sassy mouth and attitude at a moment's notice. There are times when I intently work not to let her escape from me although she is bubbling at the brim. When people I love are hurt because of their desire to make the world a better place, I have to check myself before I wreck myself. My desire to defend is so deep that my professional self needs to have a little chat with my ghetto self, reminding it what our purpose is, to teach students to rise up, be an example.

My Pollyanna attitude isn't a naive one, but rather built on a belief that students from the "east side" (or wherever the wrong side of the tracks is in your town), have as much opportunity as anyone else, they just may have to work at it a bit more. The Glad Game for these students is about reminding them of all the good things that are in their life, how great they can be, what their future can hold. This is what I want to teach them, to step up, stand tall, climb higher.

Frankly, and sadly, there are those in the world that refuse to allow positive movement to happen due to their own sour agenda and, for that, I am sad. We all need to step aside and allow each other to grow. If someones growing is on your last frazzled nerve, then it is time to move...allow your one frazzled nerve to heal, close the door and gather yourself.

I am refusing to let the icy Aunt Polly's of the world win with their sour puss attitudes. I will continue to be who I am, purveyor of the Glad Game, speaker of success, teller of the truth. I will not back down because someone else doesn't like what is being said. I have no apology. I am honest and true to my word. I can also be a bit scattered and hare brained, but I am loyal to those who deserve loyalty, and dismissive of those who don't. I will not expose indiscretions, nor will I participate in the reveal of them.

I will braid my hair, and grab my crutches and stare out the window looking at those wondrous, beautiful people who are honoring the Pollyanna in so many of us. We stand together, ready to teach the Glad Game to the masses. You can decide, but I hope that you join on this journey!


  1. I have been out of internet...for a bit of time...and I am trying to catch up on some of your posts. I loved the one about your two sons and the one going off to college. And then there is this one...Pollyanna....what I have been accused of being so often...but not in a bad way. I like you style of catches me and moves me through your words. I hope to find some more time this afternoon or tomorrow to read some more.

  2. I loved your post on Pollyanna.... Very much true....I look forward to following your blog.


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