Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dedicated Teachers and Nurses Should Always Be Appreciated

Monday, May 6th through Friday, May 10th marks Teacher Appreciation Week.  May 6th through May 12th is National Nurse's Week.  These are two professions that should be celebrated 24/7 as at some point everyone will encounter a teacher or a nurse.

Being around nurses and teachers most of my life and now with a daughter who is an educator, I have appreciated both professions for as long as I remember.

This is a circa 1960s puzzle of a black child dressed as a candy striper. She holds a tray of medicinal items. The patient in the cradle is a kitten. The details at the bottom of the puzzle read: Personality #180, E.E. Fairchild Corporation.

At the age of 5 or 6, I "thought" I wanted to become a nurse; however, that thought vanished from my mind forever when my mother scolded me for crying as I witnessed my brother regurgitate what I thought was blood.  In reality, he had drunk a red soda prior to becoming nauseated.  The red soda turned his gastric contents red, but all I could think of was my brother was bleeding inside.  As she cleaned up the vomit, she asked in a slightly raised voice, "How do you think you're going to be  a nurse if you can't stand the sight of vomit!?"   Aspiration crushed, I internalized that moment and never-ever thought about being a nurse again.

2002 Lingerie Barbie dressed as a nurse (she is my perfect stand in for the 2006 Barbie Fan Club-exclusive Nurse Barbie).
From the late 1960s through the late 1990s when she retired, my mother worked with nurses in a doctor's office setting and became lifelong friends with them.  I admired their crisp white uniforms, white stockings, and nurse's hats.  The white nurse's shoes they wore were "interesting."  They looked comfortable but were not very stylish, in my opinion.   The office always smelled clean and everything was always in order.  One of my mother's nurse/co-worker friends suggested that I become a dental hygienist.  I appreciated Shelley's suggestion and did give it some thought, but that profession was not in the cards for me.

As illustrated in Black Dolls a Comprehensive Guide, from L-R these nurse dolls are Shindana's Career Girl Wanda, a Dress Me Ginny, and Silkstone Barbie (shown above this picture as well) all dressed in custom nurse uniforms.  The redhead is  Julia, Mattel's first celebrity doll that represents Diahann Carroll in her role as the 1968-1971 TV series main character, Julia.

My work in hospital settings as an allied health professional (I've always enjoyed being a behind the scenes kind of person) and my short stint at a visiting nurse-type organization allowed me to form working relationships with nurses that often led to friendships.

I know several nurses who are doll collectors that I have communicated with for years regarding our shared passion for dolls.  Dedicated nurses are good people.  Dedicated teachers are, too.

My Violet Waters doll is a tribute to my aunt, Cubie Faye Evans.  "She contributed to the field of education in various capacities and retired as a principal in the Dallas Independent School District after 41 years of committed service." [From her obituary.] 

My favorite aunt was a teacher and school administrator.  For me, she was an early example of a dedicated wife and loving mother.  As an educator, she continued to educate outside the classroom.  "Who's gnawing on that bone?" she'd kindly ask if I answered, "Naw" instead of "No."  She taught me how to sew and to hand-stitch a dress hem.  During her 80th birthday surprise birthday party speech, after receiving countless accolades from the people whose lives she touched in and outside the classroom, she said, "It's often lonely at the top."

A few years ago, my real-live doll dressed up as Batgirl for her kindergartners on a special school day.
I raised a teacher who is passionate about "her kids."  When she was in sixth grade, she was inspired by one of her favorite teachers (unbeknownst to the teacher), to pursue teaching as a career.  She also appears to be a lifelong student.  Having achieved a masters in education a few years ago, she is now working on her doctorate and I am very proud of her.

1995 Teacher Barbie has an unusually small class of two students.
I salute all great nurses and teachers and extend to both professions the utmost respect.  They are both difficult, often thankless jobs.  It might not often be stated, but I and many others appreciate the work that you do.


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.

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  1. In behalf of all the teachers and educators including myself, I want to thank you.
    In behalf of all my friends who work as nurses I also want to thank you.


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