The teacher understood the value of these items and sought the children's help to collect and display them, creating a wonderful museum right there in the classroom. They worked for days, writing descriptions of each item and then they proudly wrote the owner's name of each contribution on a small place card. It was meant to be a secret project until its unveiling on opening day -- a temporary museum that provided a multi-layered lesson of history and language, one that required research and note-taking, a lesson greater than any the children had learned prior, or ever would learn afterwards.
My husband, Nick, was one of those students and he recalls the excitement of the time. Each day a new coin or ancient relic would be brought in. The contributing student, a star at the head of the classroom, would describe his or her piece and gain the much-sought-after attention and approval of their teacher. My father-in-law, Toma, had a nice little collection of coins that Nick gingerly wrapped in a handkerchief and brought to school. It was a variety of coins that out-shone the other students' contributions. Nick was very proud.
The students created invitations for their parents. They also created posters to be hung within the village so that everyone could share in this open invitation -- enjoy the beauty of the artifacts and admire the students' creativity. Two days before the grand opening, the museum pieces were placed around the room and carefully arranged. The school was decorated while the beautifully sculpted invitations and posters lay upon the teacher's desk, ready for distribution the following day. The children's excitement could hardly be contained as they pulsed with the delicious secret they awaited to share with their parents.
But, the next day, the teacher was gone and so were all the artifacts.
And no one ever saw him again . . . or the artifacts.
So much was stolen that day. The disappointment those children felt is indescribable, but worse is the horror of those who had lost gold and silver that they had held for generations. We can only hope that this man suffered in some way for his crime against Margariti.
Perhaps one of the gods caught up with him.
Among the Zinnias, The Nifi & Your Own Kind are available with this LINK. I hope you'll give one of them a try!
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