I am an elementary school teacher, and, as such, I know a little about a lot.
One day, I wondered, “What is one thing I can study, one subject I can pour myself into, so I can know a lot about a little, so I can become a genius about that one thing?”
The answer to my question was whales - living things that are not only a lot, they are the ‘lottest,’ the biggest creatures to have ever lived in the world.
My wonder of whales began when I was a boy. I was a little, inquisitive, kind kid and my heart was drawn to whales, who were similar to me in their inquisitiveness and kindness, but different from me in their, well, in their ‘lottness.’
“What would it be like,” I thought, “To be friends with whales...to be protected by whales...to be like to be in the peaceful presence of whales?”
Since that time, I’ve learned that humpback whales hold seals on their chests to protect them from killer whales. Blue whales have hearts the size of Volkswagen Beetles and sing to each other over thousands and thousands of miles. Narwhals place the tips of their long, hornlike teeth into the broken ones of hurting narwhals to assuage their pain.
This is what whales do.
This is who whales are.
Around my school, I am now known as the whale genius, not because of my deep and wide knowledge of all things cetacean, but because of my curiosity about them, my love for them and my passion to be like them - protective, present and peaceful in the world.