Teacher Persistence

We’re certain that at times you have given up, saying something to the effect that you had tried everything. Well, never give up. You never know what might work.

Elaine, a former graduate student of ours, related the following experience she had while working with a group of teenage anorexic girls in Chicago. One girl in particular was in serious medical danger. All the known therapeutic approaches had been tried with no success. One day, Elaine took the group for a walk downtown. They passed a pizza place and the aroma as they passed was mouth watering. Suddenly, the girl said, “That pizza smells great.” Being a perceptive teacher, Elaine immediately took the group into the shop and ordered one of those wonderful Chicago deep dish pizzas. Everyone ate with gusto, including the girl in precarious shape, who continued to eat her way to recovery from that time on.

The moral here is not just to keep trying, but to try the unconventional when the conventional doesn’t work.