Crafting the Crane

In elementary school, I had two nearly identical experiences happen that shaped how I view education.

In second grade, we had a Japanese culture day. I distinctly remember one girl named Lisa who made seaweed and rice for everyone to try. This was the first time I ever had seaweed and rice. One of the popular kids in class demonstrated the Japanese are of origami and made a paper crane. I thought it was really cool and I wanted to learn how to make one too, so I asked him to show me how he made it. He refused! Instead, he made several cranes while the whole class marveled, including me. He boasted about how he would now make “the perfect crane!” He folded and triple creased every fold to perfection. Lastly, he pulled out the wings of the “not so perfect after all paper crane” and it RIPPED . “I made it too perfect,” he said. I chuckled a bit on the inside.  I went home that day so intrigued by the mystery of the paper crane’s construction process.

Two years later an almost identical situation happened. One of my friends came to my house to spend the night. He brought with him a paper crane just like the one I marveled at in 2nd grade! Yes! Finally! I knew “my friend” would teach me how to make this paper crane I so longed to make several years prior but had forgotten about! But just as before, he refused! I was thinking to myself, what is the deal with these paper cranes?

Fortunately, my friend accidentally left his paper crane behind when he left the next morning. I thought to myself that this is my opportunity to decode the enigma of the paper crane! I carefully unfolded the paper crane one crease at a time, unfolding and refolding to secure the folding process in my mind and memorize each of the steps meticulously. When I got to the beginning of the crane, I folded it back along every line. That night, I unfolded and refolded the paper crane more times than I could count.

After I memorized all the steps and gained confidence that I could create a paper crane any time on demand, I decided, in spite of the popular kid in 2nd grade, to make my own “perfect paper crane!” I folded and triple creased every fold to perfection. When all the steps were completed, I began to pull out the wings of my paper crane and as I did it ripped, just as the popular kid’s paper crane had. 

By the next morning, I had made 10 paper cranes. When my friend returned later to retrieve the paper crane that he had left behind, I proudly showcased my army of paper cranes. Immediately he grimaced at the loss of his closely guarded secret.

These experiences had a major impact on me and greatly impacted my desire to learn and in turn teach what I have learned. As a result of these childhood experiences, I have a passion for educating any and all who are willing to learn.

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.