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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Remembering Ross

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???? Being out of town when a terrible thing happens back home is bewildering and frustrating. Thinking you should be there, but knowing that is not much you could do if you were, doesn?t help.??

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???? This was the situation that my wife and I found ourselves in this week when we heard of the death of Ross Shreves.

Our hearts immediately went out to his family. This is a blow that is hard for parents and siblings, very hard. But Ross? world touched so many others and thus his death was felt by many. For me, I knew him as a student, a friend of my son, and then as a co-worker. It was just a shock and it hurt.

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???? But, I could not help of thinking of his students and what they were going through. Being young and depending on adults (begrudgingly) for help in understanding things, a loss of an adult close to you is hard to comprehend and is just plain scary. This last week was just a little terrifying for us all.
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???? I remember laughing when I heard that Ross?s favorite book was ?Where the Wild Things Are?. A children?s book that was written by Maurice Sendak, who died last May and who?s birthday would have been Monday.

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???? I recently read a commentary by Elizabeth Barber on Mr. Sendak. The following are excerpts from her article published in the Christian Science Journal.

?Mr. Sendak, whose much-lauded work was sometimes banned for its un-sanitized take on children?s stories, did not believe in childhood ? at least not childhood in the way in which it is conventionally talked about, glossed in nursery ?appropriate hues.?

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????? Ms. Barber includes a quote from Sendak.

?Just tell them if it?s true. If it?s true, you tell them,? Sendak said.

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Barber continues, ?So Sendak?s stories are truthful, telling tales of a world that is not always kind or fair or good. ? Sendak?s work makes demands on the child?s moral life, introducing his youthful readers to worlds where things are not painted in blacks and whites, where flexible mind and a little bit of exploration is necessary to come up with ethical answers.?

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???? For me Ross? story is hard to understand at least the ending is. But I have to remember that that ending was not his story ? that one turns out to be someone else?s. Ross?s story was what he was in the classroom, with his friends and to his family. This is the story that should be remembered.

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???? Ross with his wry wit would say ?Just tell them if it?s true. If it?s true, you tell them?

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