‘Sentimental Value’ for Jake’s theme

“We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.” ~ Albert Einstein

I seriously battled with Jake’s theme this week, and had almost decided to give it a miss, but sitting at my desk this evening, I happened to open one of the drawers, and found something which has absolutely no monetary value, and is of no value to anyone but myself, and yet I have kept it for over twelve years, occasionally getting it out to have a look at it, and then putting it away again. This thing of such sentimental value to me is a pile of cards and letters given to me on my last day of teaching class music at a school in Johannesburg.


There were many tears shed that morning, as we had our last school assembly for the term. Hubby had retired and we had sold our house and were moving down to the coast. One of the other teachers had secretly coached a small group of the older children to sing that lovely but very sad song, “Time to say goodbye,” and that was the catalyst for myself, the teachers and about 600 pupils to burst into floods of tears. My eyes are becoming moist again, just recollecting it, and every time I hear this song, I remember that day.

I was given lots of cards with wonderfully loving messages,Β  and presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.They’d also had a collection to buy me a gold bracelet with a music clef charm, but my most treasured gift was the red handmade card from a small member of my choir. It simply said in gold lettering, β€œThank you teacher for always doing your best.”

That is actually all we can ever hope to do in life; to always do our best, give it our best shot, whatever the circumstances. Don’t you agree?

To see more interpretations of Jake’s theme, just click here.

78 comments on “‘Sentimental Value’ for Jake’s theme

  1. What a lovely post, dear. Your quote from Albert Einstein brought back some memories.
    My grandmother’s older sister had a brief ”thing” with Bertie before he became famous. This was when he worked at the patent office.
    In fact it was so brief, that she gave him the nickname ‘Speed of Light Einie’. She always claimed it was his speed under the covers that inspired E=mc 2.
    all the best Aunty Jane x

  2. Lovely memories indeed AD and I would have been sentimental too about them. I am sure they still miss you. πŸ™‚ Lovely post hon! *hugs*

    • Thanks so much, Lisa. I did my best. πŸ™‚ Love to you too.
      I just tried to comment on your new post but it wouldn’t accept my login. 😦 I’ll try again later

  3. As a former teacher I can’t think of a more valuable keepsake, Sylvia. Yes, we give it our best and hope those we taught do the same and pass it on. I’m sure they learned that from you.

  4. I got a bit nostalgic reading this post… those days of old when things were different… I loved you post today (in fact everyday) and find it brings back memories of a film I once saw about a music teacher that had to retire or lost his job (can’t remember) it was called “……… opus” cannot remember the name, a true story.? I don’t know..but I chunked my eyes out at the end of that movie.. Mr Hollands Opus that’s the name… have you seen that??

  5. Some things are worth keeping only for memory’s sake.
    Good to take them out and relive the different times in your life.

  6. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story my friend and you’re still lucky for having those valuable things like that, you could feel that you are important to them .

  7. Wonderful memories. I am sure your small student echoed what you probably often told the choir members. It is good to have memories that touch our souls. Wonderful post.


  8. Glad you had a drawer rummage AD . Some things just can’t be ditched and thrown away can they .
    Such nice personal memories , and you can bet those youngsters – but -a – little – older will still talk fondly about you too πŸ˜‰

      • Yes . I bet you do AD.
        If you were an inspiring teacher and of course you must have been πŸ˜€ it will be like me thinking back fondly of those teachers who made a difference . And I’m talking about YEARS ago πŸ˜‰ .. good teachers are always remembered and wondered about too .

    • I have kept in touch with one pupil in particular, and she even came to stay with us for a week a few years ago. I was thrilled to know that she had kept up her music, and had won several singing competitions. She’s now at university. I was so proud of her achievements.

  9. Sentimental values …. is a comfort to have near by – I’m a card collector … too. It’s strange that it’s when we leave our jobs … that is when we told how good we really was.

  10. This brought tears into my eyes too! As a teacher the best reward is those small cards of appreciation by the children you never expected it from.

  11. I also have a whole lot of cards and letters in my closet from friends and teachers who wrote them before I left the various schools that I went to. I would never dream of throwing them away

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