We stopped by a gift shop in a rustic, refurbished mining town on a beautiful spring afternoon. The shop smelled of leather, soft smooth jazz playing in the background was overlaid by the clip-clop sounds of our feet on old wooden floors and the buzzing of a finishing tool at work upon some silver jewelry. We espied a group of beautiful stones behind the glass counter, of various sizes, colors, and not expensive. They were available for mounting or simply purchased as souvenirs. They were opalescent, sapphire, sparkling, golden, streaked with rivulets of variegated colors; they were marvelous. After discussing the stones, sources and how they were created with the owner, we walked away with a rock tumbler/polisher and sands of varying grit size.
For the next month, my son spent hours searching for and collecting good looking rocks. The small polisher was prepared and we let it do its job for approximately 72 hours. We opened out tumbler and found a group of still ruddy objects, marginally smoother, but without gleam. We returned the sample and started again. A couple of days later we appraised the stones again, finding them a bit smoother, but scarcely reflective. We continued, but head out to the garage to oil up and massage the gloves, baseball season was about to start.
Turning off the tumbler/polisher after approximately six days, briefly examined our stones and moved on, baseball practice rolled into games and summer rolled into fall, winter and other activities. Our stones were pushed behind and under many other materials. No one asked about their whereabouts in the near future or over time. Thirteen years later we still have a clear display box labeled “My rock collection” filled with rough specimens with plenty of possibilities.
Your many variegated students do not have the time or inclination to wait until you come back around. They cannot wait for you to re/gain your excitement, patience, and interest in helping them to flourish and shine. Moreover, their polished gleaming nature often does not present itself readily and easily, similarly to rocks in a polisher. However, their gleam is there. Polish your student with the patience, quality time, resources, and the attention s/he deserves.