To Understand a Watermelon

IMG_9197Last week at my local Farmer’s Market I picked up three watermelons. They weren’t seedless. But, I noticed a crowd around the watermelon bin; folks grabbing them up like crazy. I asked a shopper; she said they were sweeter than Sugar Babies–well, that sold me. I thought, well, we’ll just spit out the seeds like back in the day. That plan didn’t work out. I decided to “de-seed”them myself. First guy up was a challenge–all those tiny, well buried seeds. How to get them out without losing precious fruit? Without destroying the melon? By the second watermelon I had the seed “design,” if I can even call it that, down. The seeds are in the upper portions; tenacity and gentle probing resulted in bowls of fruit to savor. Today was my first day back at the university and I met my new, fabulous group of preservice teachers. As I tackled the watermelon I saw parallels between me and my new students, (and they, with their future readers and writers). We all have seeds–experiences, memories, emotions, ideas, tendencies, that need to be located, noticed, and worked with by teachers who care enough to dig deeply into who we are, to get to the essence of the person. Each watermelon had a unique arrangement of seeds. Without those seeds the watermelon, star of summer, would not exist. Each melon was a challenge well worth the undertaking.