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Better Than I Deserve

Sometimes things don’t go very well, and we wonder why. “What on earth did I do to deserve this?” we ask . . . and, of course, there is no satisfactory answer.

In my life, I am grateful to say, things go well equally often, and still I am tempted to ask, “What on earth did I do to deserve this?”

Yesterday I shared a Thanksgiving feast with our fourth graders. They baked the cornbread and churned the butter to spread on it. (Moms and grandmoms provided the balance of the meal, which was truly a gastronomic delight.) With apologies to my good wife and my new friends in China, I must say that I haven’t enjoyed a meal as much in quite some time.

An hour later I found myself in the Frith Library, pushing buttons on historical figures and listening to their life stories. The fifth graders were putting on their annual Wax Museum. To prepare, each student chose a person (my favorite this year was Robert E. Lee), researched his or her life, wrote a brief biography, and memorized it. Then the student put together an appropriate costume and waited in the library to have a “button” pushed, at which time he would recite the memorized biography. It’s one thing to recite on the playground in front of your buddies; it’s another thing entirely to recite in costume to adults you don’t know or even to your Head of School!

And then today — Agricultural Day on the Danville campus. Lower Schoolers from Martinsville rode busses to see their friends in Danville and enjoyed a gloriously sunny day outside learning about dairy farming, horses, beekeeping, donkeys, being a vet . . . the list goes on. “Ag Day” is always one of my favorite days — another unique Carlisle tradition.

And so I guiltily prepare to depart my office for Thanksgiving vacation, knowing that I surely haven’t done anything good enough to earn the joys of these past two days at Carlisle and that, sometimes my life is better than I deserve.

We all have much for which we should be thankful. Please enjoy a happy and healthful Thanksgiving holiday.

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