Angelika Award

This post is tagged under a number of headings including photography & art. The most important though is education. This is a story of 21 men & women from vastly different parts of the world, different backgrounds, and ages who, through the power of blogging, have shaped the education of a young person. They have never met this person nor have they directly communicated with them.

On March 23, 2012, I posted Existential Friday: Duelling Philosophers. It was about an assignment I had given my small group of Philosophy students (secondary school Grd. 12). I included a sample of what one of the students had composed, a debate between two philosophers in the form of a rap duel.

There were six responses and nineteen likes, as of Tuesday, March 27. I showed the student the post this morning. At first s/he was a bit surprised that I had actually posted it. Then I pointed out the likes and responses. The student’s face lit up and excitedly told their friend. Other students also took note. Near the end of the period another student dropped by. When she was told that her friend’s rap assignment was “published” and it had 19 likes and 6 responses, she wanted the address so she could check it out.

My student wanted to make sure s/he had the address too. I asked her if her parents would be coming to interview night this evening. At first s/he said they were going to be too busy. I mentioned that I had hoped to tell them about their “blog”.

This evening they were there to see me. They came right over and said their child insisted they come and see me to find out about the rap-blog. This was a special interview night for myself and my wife. We are retiring. This is our last parent-teacher interview night in our teaching careers.

It was a slow night. Second semester tends to have a low turn out. Those parents were the only ones I had. I have a very different mix of students because of the Assisted Study Program and the number of students are small. Let’s just say this last interview made the evening and the job very worthwhile. I was able to tell our principal about this whole incident before the evening was done, extra bonus.

As for the student, 21 individuals have touched that young person’s life. As with any teacher, they have no idea what seed they may have planted and nurtured through their small action of clicking the like button or putting a small comment to indicate that they took the time to read that student’s efforts. In acknowledgement for their actions, I present them with the Angelika Award, they are all angels in the shadows. The shadows of their wings have spread very far indeed.


 katrien steenssens

Syncopated Eyeball


J. A. Robinson




The Blissful Adventurer



Laura Barbosa


Annerose Georgeson


In Blue

Coastal Crone



marina kanavaki



20 thoughts on “Angelika Award

  1. Oh, thank you, Joseph! For the award and for this post. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have made a small contribution to the lighting up of your student’s face! It bears out my theory that a lot of tiny voices together can make a difference. Ripples rippling!

    And you, Joseph, you are something special, something precious. Your insightful mind, your kooky sense of humour and your gentle heart make the world a better place.

  2. annerose

    Thank you so very much for this award.

    So here I am in northern BC. I think it might be a lot like the home of Dark Pines, (lots of snow and small schools). I was introduced to blogs when I taught art to online students. I’ve been quietly posting my art, kind of a journal.
    Then last month i discovered tags! and making comments! and likes!
    And topics!!! So many cool blogs! Including yours.
    Now I have COMMUNITY! Crazy!

    And now I this Angelika Award! (My first blog award!) I love the story of the student. More community!
    And the rap was just plain awesome! The words of the great ones explained so that I can understand them. By a Gr 12 student in northern Ontario.
    Thanks again!

  3. what incredibily wise, loving thoughts to think and write – and what a nice thing to do – i am touched and honored with this award – but i am fully aware that it was you who triggered the whole process

    your writing reminds me of the indisputable fact that often, through our small daily actions, we replace a stone in a river on earth – for the better or for worse – thank you for that reminder – every now and then i really need that

  4. First of all I should say this, I am honored so much. When I read the whole story I felt more than this, you are so nice person dear Joseph, and sure so nice teacher too. Thank you for this meaningful award, how lucky your students. Blessing and Happiness for you and for your family, and also for your amazing students. With my love, nia

  5. Many, many thanks for this very special and thoughtful Angelika Award which I am honoured to accept. I am so pleased to hear that our comments and likes have had such a wonderful and positive effect. As Katrien says: you triggered the whole process and your creativity, kindness and thoughtfulness has rippled out and touched many. Thank you.

  6. What an incredibly inspiring story…I had no idea that through the simple act of pressing a ‘like’ button, or leaving a comment one can have such an positive effect. It really is quite wonderful to hear, and I thank you for presenting me with this honour, which I gratefully accept and cherish. Thank you.

  7. Wow! Thanks! Be sure to show your “star” rapper that you rewarded us thusly. The student is deserving of the attention you gave, so I am honored to be honored. All in all, this is a wonderful story.

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  9. I gladly accept your award! Thanks for sharing the story of your students. You have touched me today and my young blog. Some days I think I should quit but then I get this Angelika Award!

  10. Pingback: Duelling Philosophers from DarkPinePhotos | barbaraelka

  11. George Weaver

    You always amaze me. What a really inspired thing to do. The students were connected to some pretty fantastic people. There are limitless ways in which to bridge gaps, to educate. I’m afraid not every teacher has your talent or vision or inspiration. I keep asking Boy what he does in the expensive school of his. Not much inspiration there, I’m afraid except for the art class after school. He has a very good art teacher. That is his favorite subject, of course, because it allows him to express himself. Ah, how that school is going to miss you and Elizabeth.

  12. Pingback: I’m Honored by Angelika Award « photographyofnia

  13. Oh, wow – thank you so very much! It was incredibly kind of you to mention me here, but I was just happy to come across what you’ve shared… brilliant work by a student who was inspired by a thoughtful teacher! The true award goes to the both of you!!! Along with my sincere hopes that you both keep on creating… as you can see the inspiration you’ve provided is contagious!

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