Chris was one of those people that was both left and right “brained.” He did well academically and was artistically creative as well.
This showed itself in his art and math and science classes but especially in Tech class where the two sides tend to merge in order to complete projects. So a couple of weeks ago I had a visit from one of Christopher's teachers. I thought it was so nice for him to reach out and see about getting together.
I knew who he was as soon as I saw his name in my email, I met him twice at the high school open house in previous years. Sophomore year I made a point to say hello and asked him if he knew my son. "Yes! I do know Chris" he said at which time he pointed out where Chris normally sat.
Turns out Chris had the same teacher his junior year for a completely different Tech class. I went to the open house again that year but didn't bug Mr. Nagy with more chatter about Chris as I already knew he was aware of who Chris was. (Seems I have a pestering need to know my boy’s teachers and know them by name...).
Mr. Nagy told me it was not typical for him to have the same student two years in a row. I'm glad he did. I think he is too. Seems there was plenty of time during those formative years for a relationship to grow between them. He shared some funny stories with me about my sweet boy which had me in stitches as I could see things playing out in the classroom. Of course all of this is new to me because Chris rarely shared his school day with me. Usually "nothing happened" as it probably does in your house too...
Here's a pretty typical conversation between Mr. Nagy and Chris, it happened more than once:
As Chris was sneaking bites of his pb & banana sandwich at his desk doing his work Mr. Nagy would approach:
"Chris, what are you doing? You know you can't eat in here"
"Mr. Nagy I'm starrrrrrvinggg", he’d say with the twinkle in his eyes and that lovable smirk.
"School policy is no food in here, you know that. When do you have lunch?"
"Right after this class!"
As Mr. Nagy walks away rolling his eyes.
I thought that was great. I made that pb & banana for him, almost every day! I'm glad I did. I think it's cute he couldn't wait to get to the lunch room and gobbled up his sandwich ahead of time. It makes sense to me now when I hear his friends tell me he helped them eat their lunches too because now I understand his was gone!
Another quick funny moment:
Chris sat next to a boy named "Nate". He decided, on behalf of everyone in the class that Nate needed a nickname. Why? Who knows? Maybe Nate or a classmate will chime in and tell us but in any event Chris said he did. So, as the kids were (supposed to be) working on their Tech project Chris hopped on the Internet to Google something like "words ending in Nate". It opened a flood gate of options... Procrastinate, reincarnate, innate, donate, hibernate... You get the picture! Yes, it seems everyone got in on the discussion - so much so Mr. Nagy remembered it happily. I hope he picked a good one for you Nate :-)
So, I'm posting some of the things Chris created in Tech class. They may not seem too tough but according to Mr. Nagy some of these things were really difficult. They weren't woodworking skills learned with those kind of tools, the classes Chris took were geared toward Engineering (the avenue I was pushing for...) The lettering cutouts in the "CS" and "SHEN FOOTBALL" squares were done by a machine programmed using coordinates on the computer.
The chess board was a tough one too. I know that took a long time and Chris was proud of it. I remember him explaining how he did it to me but I'll need a refresher from his teacher on that one...
An interesting "find" in the Tech classroom was what inspired Mr. Nagy to email me. Seems he came across the resin mold that belonged to a project of Chris'. What makes it interesting is that it was from junior year and also that it never got melted down to be reused like all the others. Why is that???? How come I've had the finished mold on display in Christopher's room all this time and now Mr. Nagy brought me the receptacle that molded it? The two pieces are back together! Take a look. :-)
I don't find it coincidental at all. I feel blessed and fortunate. I believe it's a "Christopherism" at its finest. He's funneling humorous stories and works of art through those around him. I feel he's telling me he's OK and he causing us to smile on his behalf. To me that's just wonderful.
Thank you for reading.