Saturday, March 13, 2010


When I created "Follow Your Bliss" my purpose was to share my passion for teaching and chronicle my journey as an educator. I hoped that it would be a place for my students' parents to gain deeper insight into what happens in our classroom, a forum for feedback from other teachers and an online journal that my family could read to keep up with those smaller moments in my life that are not always touched upon in a phone conversation.

These things have happened.

The other day a parent interested in sending her daughter to my kindergarten class next year sent me an email about the blog. I have built a relationship with several passionate educators who share their ideas and comments and my mom (an avid reader) inspired some of my favorite posts entitled "Tips From My Mom".

These were my expectations.

But there are also things that were unexpected.


Meeting Kimy from Mouse Medicine and having her accompany my first grade class on a trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008. She took many fantastic photographs that day and was generous enough to provide me with copies.

It just so happens that I recently became involved with redesigning and organizing the new look of our school web site and when I was selecting photographs for the main banner I immediately thought of Kimy's photograph 'hands'. With her kind permission it is now front and center representing our school. Thank you Kimy!

Other Blog kin have also visited with us. Gregg (aka Junk Thief) came to talk with my students about children in other parts of the world who must forfeit an education because their families rely on them to fetch water from miles away or are put to work in the fields. This powerful conversation was followed with the gift of a collection of stories written by children.

Lettuce and Melody have both introduced me to British children's authors and have given me many books to read to my students. Mel just sent me another package this past week. Amazingly big-hearted and totally unexpected. Thank you both.

That brilliantly childlike and slightly askew artist Sebastien of Chronically Sick sent me three original pieces of art (including the one pictured here) and a t-shirt. It would be an understatement to say that I love his work. He is pure genius.

I have met folks who I consider friends and learned so much from others.

I even got to write a blurb for the back of a children's book because of this little blog.


And amazing.

You have all made me smile.


Arielle Lee Bair said...

Isn't it amazing what a blog can really do?

And you truly deserve all that good karma. :)

lettuce said...

you've made me smile often Gary.


MarmiteToasty said...

:) I always smile when I pop in here......

This is a very special blob......written by a very special bloke...... fanks for doing all you do...


Dumdad said...

My wife and I have followed your blog for some time now and continue to enjoy the posts and insights and drawings and all the rest. Long live the blogosphere and all who float in her!

Lorenzo at the Alchemist's Pillow said...

Beautiful post, Gary. I hope there will be further unexpected smiles from the blog world to weave into the work you do with your students.

Barbara said...

I am so honored to be mentioned here!

You have definitely become my children's education mentor. When I need ideas for reading to my shelter kids, you are the first person I think of.

Keep up all of your good work. You make me believe there is hope for our education system!

Anonymous said...

Nice post and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you as your information.

mouse (aka kimy) said...


unexpected joy and finds are the best kind.

thanks gary for always brightening up our day!

looking forward to another field trip with one of your classes! for me, that was the highlight of that particular trip to nyc!

Steve said...

Echoing what Lettuce said, you've brought me many smiles too! I love the blog network and my "blog kin," to use Reya's term. It's been great getting to know you! When are we going out again? :)

Sebastien said...

awww, you are too kind Gary! and I feel the same way, so lucky to have connected with you via the net. I love your passion, compassion, and love of teaching and connecting with your kids. I can't believe how many amazing people I've connected with via blogging.

Mickle in NZ said...

Dear Gary, you have most definately met your purpose, and so very much more.

I still want to be in your kindergarten class but know it would be hard for you to pass off a 45 year old Kiwi woman as one of the children!

I learn so much from every new post, and get to enjoy personal smiles when smiles are appropriate.

Super thanks, dear Gary, for a wonderful blog.

Sending care and love to Gary and Lauren,

Michelle down in NZ and my Zebbycat (apologies - Zeb is busy snoring and sleeping right now)

Reya Mellicker said...

This is a beautiful post of loving connection, Gary.

I hope to visit your class one of these days, too. xx and love,

Ally said...

I think you're amazing (:
Amazingly amazing.

Mom said...

I really enjoyed your post. As usual you always make everyone happy and keep them smiling! I always tell you "You are my Happy Baby" and I love you! Mom xxxooo

Gary said...

Thanks for your comments and for reading FYB. I appreciate it.

WAT said...

I haven't met you at all yet! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!

GLO said...

Gary, you know I love you and think you are one of the best teachers. Ever...during a difficult period and transition for Christian, you were a light, giving him guidance and love as a very hands on teacher. I will always be eternally grateful to you, for what you gave me, for what you gave Christian...and to think your former student is going to be 18 years old!

Gary said...


Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am very touched by your kind words. Is it possible that all these years have passed and Christian will soon be 18?! I am sure he is still as wonderful and sweet as he always was. Love to you and the family.


LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Thanks for the "shout out", Gary. I fondly remember my visit and time with the kids. I was so impressed and touched by how perceptive children that young were, especially the girls, and how they saw the injustice faced by kids their age in other parts of the world.

I am honored to be part of such an esteemed list of guests at your school.


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