Final thoughts: Steam

The following is an article provided by Supt. Victoria Shepherd ISD

There is a brilliant song by a group of Bluegrass artists from North Carolina called “Deeper Shade Of Blue”. They sing under Mountain Fever Records and released an album in 2018 with a hit song of the same title called “Steam”. As I mulled over what to write about from week to week, this song popped into my head. It occurred to me from one word, “there was enough steam to whistle, but not enough to pull the train.”

This feeling is very much in line with JRR Tolkien’s quote: “I feel thin, a little stretched out, like butter scratched on too much bread.” We all know the feeling of bone fatigue. I’m talking about the kind of fatigue where no amount of rest or sleep will leave you feeling caught up. Although Tolkien’s quote is good, I love these bluegrass lyrics because they are so real and raw. It is the feeling of wanting to do something but being too weak to do it. I’m sure most of us, if not all, can relate. We can all easily think of that person screaming at the top of their lungs that something needs to be done, but they can’t be found when it’s time to get to work. Sometimes we might even have been that person… I know I did.

As I quickly review the past year and think of some of the highlights, I think of many of our Victoria ISD employees and our students. It seems that some people often don’t use their steam to whistle because they are so busy using all of their steam to pull the train. Over the past year, I have seen countless occasions where our staff have worked tirelessly to make things better for our students or for our community. I can think of many phone and text conversations before 5 a.m. as we try to get out of the buses and open buildings and countless
the people who do this work. I think of the phone calls and texts that come in after midnight when students may be in danger or have safety concerns. I think of the directors who come on weekends to mop up the water that passes through our roofs. I think back to the weekends the staff showed up to help feed our community during the ice storm. I think of those teachers, whose workload nearly doubled during the pandemic as they tried to balance in-person and distance education at the same time. I think of the students who went around every obstacle they encountered to try to find ways to make what has been an incredibly difficult year as normal as possible. We are truly a 24/7 operation in many ways. It’s those students and staff who don’t complain when things don’t go well, but roll up their sleeves and help keep the train moving. To these students and staff, thank you. While it’s easy to sit down and whistle, you got the demanding job done and you got the steam to pull the train. You know it was difficult, and you know we needed a hero to step in and help. For some, you’ve been so busy pulling the train that you haven’t gotten the recognition you rightly deserve. To you, I want to say thank you.

Congratulations to our seniors and their families.

By Supt. Quintin Shepherd of Victoria ISD

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