Articles by Eve Poupko

All Aboard


child

For some reason, optimistic people often stand out among their peers. Sometimes they’re viewed with awe, while other times, people simply find them annoying. Regardless of whether nature or nurture is responsible for their more than pleasant personalities, it is interesting to note that there is a unique group of individuals who excel in the area of optimism. The reason they don’t annoy anyone with their positive outlook is because they often go unnoticed. They are our children. Sadly, between the temper tantrums (theirs, not yours), the messes, and the squabbles, it’s easy to overlook this amazing attribute. But if we watch and listen carefully, we just might learn something.


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All Aboard


baby

For some reason, optimistic people often stand out among their peers. Sometimes they’re viewed with awe, while other times, people simply find them annoying. Regardless of whether nature or nurture is responsible for their more than pleasant personalities, it is interesting to note that there is a unique group of individuals who excel in the area of optimism. The reason they don’t annoy anyone with their positive outlook is because they often go unnoticed. They are our children. Sadly, between the temper tantrums (theirs, not yours), the messes, and the squabbles, it’s easy to overlook this amazing attribute. But if we watch and listen carefully, we just might learn something.


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Color Me Blue


crayons

A recent life cycle event left me feeling a little blue. After I took my children to do their back-to-school shopping, I realized that for the first time in over 15 years, I didn’t have to buy crayons for anyone. Crayons have a special place in my heart. Having used them as a child and then being reunited with them as a parent, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sorrow. You see, crayons, which are not as unassuming as they seem, have taught me some of life’s greatest lessons. Peering up at us with their colorful pointy faces, they stand soldier-like in their box, lined up next to their nearest relative in the color spectrum, waiting anxiously to see what the world has to offer. As often is the case, it is only after they’re gone that we realize the impact they had on our lives.


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Best Friends through Thin and Thick


scale

Upon hanging up the phone, Rochel went into her living room and plopped herself down on a chair.

“What am I going to do?” she wailed.

“What’s the matter?” her unsuspecting but concerned husband asked.

“I just got off the phone with Sima, you know, my best friend from seminary. I haven’t seen her in 20 years, and she happens to be in town. She said she wants to stop by to see me tomorrow.”

“I’m not really understanding,” her husband replied, shaking his head in confusion.


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No Tanks!


seder plate

I was recently scanning the front page of a reputable newspaper when I came across this headline: “Brazilian Officials Searching for Stolen Items Find Two Tanks.” Yes, we’re talking about real tanks – you know, the kind that have steel treads and shoot at people. After clearing my head, my first thought was, “This country could really use a good Pesach cleaning.” I mean, I’ve come across some crazy things, but this was tantamount to saying, “I was cleaning the den for Pesach and I stumbled upon an elephant. Correction: make that two elephants.”

But putting elephants and tanks aside, the article did help me to gain perspective. See, most people grumble and groan about the pre-Pesach shenanigans that are called “preparation.” The cleaning, scrubbing, organizing, and rerouting of kitchen items tends to throw many a household into a cyclone-like environment. The dirt swirls around, furniture gets upended, and food is scarce (despite the cauldron-sized pots filled with food that are boiling away day and night). Many an unsuspecting husband has been seen wandering around in a confused state mumbling, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”


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“How’s Your Weather Feeling?”


snow man

As the winter months get underway, many a wistful glance is cast out the window. People from all walks of life look forward to the first snowfall of the season. Children yearn to fling themselves down a hillside of snow, while others look forward to building a snowman complete with a carrot nose. What most people don’t know is that the group of individuals who most look forward to the upcoming blizzards or any form of inclement weather, for that matter, are teachers. In contrast to the mailmen and mailwomen who follow the creed, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” we teachers have established our own motto: “Pray for snow, pray for sleet, because that will keep us off our feet.” We rally, albeit quietly, right along with the students, check the weather reports and secretly hope that during the wee hours of the night a blanket of snow will quietly fall, keeping us snug in our beds – not that we don’t love teaching, of course!  


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