Mrs. Lash had the sort of exuberance that in a relative would be scary, or in a salesperson would be grating. Fortunately, as my fifth grade teacher, that excitement and interest made her pretty wonderful.
She'd read our essays out loud, compare our poetry and fiction to that of famous writers, notice our attempts at metaphor and symbolism and always finish with encouraging words like, "Wasn't that great? I think so!"
I had probably seen the work of Marc Chagall, like any ten year-old that had been dragged through an art museum, but I credit Mrs. Lash for bringing him to life. "Look at those gorgeous colors! What do you think is the story of this painting? Close your eyes, what do you remember?"
I love this painting. Forget all the times you may have seen it on a poster, t-shirt or coffee mug. If you're standing in front of the original (which puts you in New York, at the Museum of Modern Art), it is unmistakably joyful.