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Head's Corner, October 2, 2013
I hope that your weekend was everything you hoped for and more. I had the pleasure of traveling to Philadelphia, “the city of brotherly love,” to hang out with my sister for some sisterly love. My sister and BFF is three years my senior but everyone thinks I am the eldest. When I was younger, I used to think that it was a compliment because I was perceived as more mature. Now I am offended because I am perceived as …. well, more mature. My sister is 5’3 and weighs less than a buck twenty-five (125lbs) but she is tough as nails. She earned the tough girl reputation throughout our childhood, adolescent and young adult years. I had the good fortune of her protection throughout my entire life. Even my parents are not spared from her wrath if they “mess with her little sister.”
Recently she had an unusual turn of events and needed some support to weather the storm. That is a tall order when you are the one who typically takes care of everyone. She is a pastor in a church and a manager at a non-profit. I put on my “Super S” cape (Super Sister) and headed to the airport at the crack of dawn on Saturday for a little role reversal. I wasn’t sure how effective I would be because frankly I was exhausted. I was operating on two hours of sleep and balancing my own personal and professional demands. But this was my big break and I knew that I had to prepare myself for the challenge. At first I kept hearing the Rocky theme song ferociously pounding in my head, one punch at a time. And then my brain switched stations like an iPod play list to Queen’s song, “We are the Champions”. I wasn’t sure if it was my lack of sleep or that the Geto Boys song my mind is playing tricks on me had become my reality. Whatever it was, I had 51 minutes to pull it together.
As I boarded the flight, I overheard an exchange between the pilot and one of the flight attendants. The pilot said in a deep southern accent something about a bunch of Rednecks and Alabama. The flight attendant replied in a much deeper southern accent that she was “mighty proud to be from Alabama” as they both chuckled loudly. Oh great I thought. It was more like being in a time capsule reverting back to an era that wasn’t too friendly to people like me. All of a sudden, my “Super S” cape transformed into “Super Sheniqua”, my alter ego when faced with these kinds of experiences outside of my sphere of influence.
I am on my best behavior 95% of the time. I deemed this flight as the remaining 5%. Then, out of nowhere the pilot, a tall, physically fit, attractive man stood at the front of the plane and began to introduce himself. The entire plane was dead silent. All eyes and ears were focused on him. He said sternly “Good morning my name is Captain Jones* and I have 20 years of flying experience. I am an Air force veteran. It is partly cloudy in Philadelphia but we should have a smooth journey. I assure you that I will get you there safely. We may be delayed once we get to Philadelphia because of air traffic. However, I will do my best to have us arrive on time. Enjoy your flight.
Well “dang” he was the walking definition of swag. I wanted to shout hallelujah after his introduction. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. It seemed as if there were murmurs throughout the plane. This man had all of us at hello.
His voice was strong and reassuring. He had a twinkle in his eye and gave every one of us eye contact. My “Super S” reverted to its original form and I was somewhat embarrassed by my previous thoughts. My parents are both from the south and often claim that southerners are known for their honesty and charm. I have no idea the context of the conversation between the captain and Debbie, the flight attendant. But I can tell you that I have never felt so secure and well taken care of on any flight, ever. Their southern hospitality was just what I needed to help me take care of my sister. We had an exceptional weekend!
Many of the lessons that I was taught as a child were reiterated this weekend. Never judge a book by its cover. Always keep an open mind. Be clear and confident about the direction you are heading. Keep your eyes on the prize. Be fearless. Be humble. Be confident. Always be true to yourself. I guess you are trying to figure out what does this have to do with CMS? Well everything my dear Watson. Everything. My name is Dr. Ingrid Tucker and I am an experienced educator. I have successfully lead in urban, suburban, public, private, wealthy and low income schools for over 20 years. This is my third year as Head of School at Cambridge Montessori School. Thank you for choosing CMS. I promise the journey will be rewarding. You should expect slight turbulence, which is typical on any journey. However, we will arrive at our multiple destinations safely, successfully and collectively. I can assure you that! Enjoy and have a phenomenal journey!