Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

On School #18 Field Day & Kindness

Disclaimer: The names in this musing are changed to protect the “infamous.”

This afternoon was Field Day.  It’s one of the days kids wait for all year-long. We spend the whole afternoon on the field playing games that the Physical Educational teacher has planned. Running relays, shooting basketball hoops, soccer kicks, and the water relay, where kids try to squeeze a sponge full of water into a small bottle neck, are some of their favorite games. I look forward to this day too. It’s a day of pure abandon, of kid’s laughter, and a whole lot of screaming and yelling and cheering the teams on. Some years we’ve had idyllic weather – mid 70s. Other years we’ve had to wear a light jacket to counter the cloudy skies and cold weather. Today we set a record for all the years I have been teaching. The temperature reached 95˚. Now that is hotter than … HOT!

The morning started out OK. The kids were eagerly engaged in their work-projects. (They are trying to complete as many of them as they can before the school years ends.) I was cruising right along with them – my usual efficient self … until I wasn’t. I felt myself slowing. My stomach began to roil and rumble. Uh oh, I thought as I pushed on. Thankfully, the kids went to their music class, which gave me much-needed time to recover. Music ended but my stomach upset did not. No quick recovery for me.

The kids came back. Two boys were especially sweet. As I sat in my conference chair, looking a little green, Keevan asked me if I wanted him to rub my back. He thought that would make me feel better. I thanked him but declined, though I was more than tempted to accept his offer. A short while later Ezra said, “Mrs. Figurski, if we had a bed and some covers in here, I could tuck you in.” Then he showed me how he would tuck the blankets all around me by demonstrating on his own body. He said that his mother did that for him when he wasn’t feeling well. Again I would have loved to accept his kindness in a heartbeat. At snack-time Charlie brought me a cracker from his snack. and Lindsay shared her pretzels with me. Nothing helped – except their kindness.

I considered going home. But that would mean that the principal would have to get a substitute for me for Field Day. Not good! So I went to lunch instead, hoping that maybe a little food would help. Though I could barely look at food, I forced a few bites of sandwich and a few grapes down. Then I closed my eyes and tried to rest. Still nothing helped.

Then the bell rang. Lunch was over. It was show time. I knew I had to get through this day, I just didn’t know how. I began to get the kids ready. They pulled their colorful pinnies over their heads. I lined them up at the door in their color-teams. Then we marched out to the field.

Though I smoldered in the scorching sun, the kids seemed not to mind as they ran and threw and kicked. Somehow my stomach stopped its rumbling and I made it through the day – a little limp, but with a big smile. My smile grew wider as Keevan came to me in the middle of a relay to ask, “Mrs. Figurski, are you feeling better yet? What sweetness! What kindness! And … I was happy to tell Keevan that yes, I was feeling a l-i-t-t-l-e better.

(Clip Art compliments of


May 26, 2010 - Posted by | Anything Writing, On School | , , , , , ,


  1. get well soon!
    Hope you are feeling better now!

    Comment by kaya10 | May 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks, Kier,
      It left as fast as it came. I’m fine now. Thanks for asking.
      Love, Mom

      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | May 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. Donna, I love your blog. I would say it’s my favorite blog ever. Everyday I check to see if you’ve posted a new entry. Maybe it’s because my sweet, little granddaughter just completed first grade last week. I think it’s has more to do with a little glimpse into the wonderful heart of a great teacher. Regardless, you have a true gift for writing and inspiring and I’m grateful that you share it.

    (Patti – Villa Maria Academy – Erie, Pennnsylvania – high school friend)

    Comment by Patti Jugenheimer | May 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Patti,

      I was so touched by your comments. Thank you so much for reading my blog. It’s good to know that my words are not just floating absently out there in an abyss – even better to know that you find them fun and that you enjoy reading them.

      Did your granddaughter enjoy first grade? I hope so. It is kind of a magical year. It opens up the school life to children. It sets the stage for their entire educational career. My goal is to instill good work habits and a love for learning in my kiddles. After all that is most important. They also learn to read and write, do math and handwriting, and learn about their world through science and social, studies. Throw in art, music, physical education, and Spanish and you get a well-rounded student … and a very full day.

      I am in school until June 23rd. We start in September. Your granddaughter probably started in August. I’m assuming she’s down south near you. I hope she will enjoy her educational career and has amazing teachers to inspire her each year.

      In friendship,

      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | May 29, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Fight Stroke

Resources for stroke patients, caregivers, and family members

FindingStrengthToStandAgain's Blog

Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

Braingirl and Next Doors Cat

Life after Traumatic Brain Injury

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

Miss Clara's Corner

Be the change you wish to see in the world -Gandhi

Views from a Window Seat

Jeannine Atkins on Writing and Stuff

making our way

Making our way in the mountains

In An Instant Your Life Can Change Forever

Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts Blog

%d bloggers like this: