A Physics Lesson and the Heart of Haiti

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When I was in high school, I was one of the “smart kids.” Not quite a nerd, not a band geek, and certainly not one of the sporty crowd. Being smart wasn’t something I worked at, but I didn’t work to hide it, either. There were definitely a few folks who held a grudge because of my intelligence. I just tried to ignore them and wait out the misery.

In my sophmore year, I took physics. I was dreading it. I didn’t have a lot of experience with science classes and what I had wasn’t all that positive. I was in for a surprise. My physics teacher was a woman and she was known for being a bit crazy. She was strict, with high expectations, and I thrived in her class. I was inspired by her intelligence and by the fact that she didn’t seem to care what others thought. Where others saw a demanding teacher, I saw a woman who believed in our intelligence. She knew we were capable, and she expected us to live up to our potential. She not only taught me physics principles; she taught me how to love science and to believe in my own abilities.

When I was asked by Clever Girls Collective to write about a woman who helped me, I had to do some thinking. The Heart of Haiti collection is all about supporting the people in Haiti, but not by just sending aid. Purchasing items from the collection allow a Haitian artisan to earn a living. Not only can they make the money needed to care for their families and rebuild their lives, but they have the pride that comes from making your own way and using your own talents. It’s very much like the adage about giving a man a fish vs. teaching them to fish. My physics teacher had a profound impact on my life and I know that at least some of my self-confidence and determination are a result of her support and encouragement. She gave me so much more than her job description demanded.

I’d encourage you to visit the Heart of Haiti collection at Macy’s online to do your Mother’s Day shopping. Not only are you shopping for a great caust, but there are some gorgeous items! From May 3-May 8 2011, you can use code CLEVERGIRLS to receive a 15% off discount to items in the Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace collections.

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.

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