Cosgrove’s assignment

I made the mistake of dropping by Mr. Cosgrove’s class in the middle of his lecture today. I thought he had a free moment, but he was still teaching, so I sat in the back of his class to wait to talk to him. Before I knew it, I had been given a homework assignment! He gave me the same task that he assigned his kids. So now I have to list 5 things that bring me joy, 5 things that fill me with wonder and 5 things I want to accomplish this year at HHS.

First of all, I know the word joy, but I wanted to find out the “dictionary” definition. So of course, I looked it up online at and found that it means, “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation”. That’s deep, and it’s asking for a lot, but here’s my 5 things that bring me joy (in no order of importance):

  1. Art – I love drawing, sketching, doodling, painting. I can get lost studying paintings by Pollock, Picasso, Kandinsky, Matisse, and the Renaissance artists. I am fascinated by the talent I see in HHS students’ art and photographs.  I dabble in watercolors, and I’ve finished about a dozen paintings that bring me joy to look at.
  2. Words – Of course, as a librarian, former high school English teacher and college writing teacher, words bring me joy. Reading and writing are essential components of my existence. Even now, writing this, I am filled with a certain joy in being able to express so clearly what I feel. I am also the faculty advisor of the HS Literary Magazine, where I get to work with others who also love words.
  3. Figuring things out – As a kid, I terrorized my parents because I took so many things apart to see what was happening inside. Toasters, radios, televisions, clocks … none of these things were safe around me as a kid. Nowadays, I get a sense of joy when I get that “Eureka” around computers, software and hardware. I guess it’s a good thing that I’m in charge of AV.
  4. Helping others – I’m a teacher and a parent. I chose to become an educator because I wanted to help others achieve their dreams. My job as a father is to help my children be anything they can imagine. Whether I am helping a teacher with a jam in the copier, a student understand MLA formatting or one of my son’s deal with life’s curveballs, nothing is as rewarding as knowing you could make someone’s day (and maybe life) better.
  5. My family – Not just my wife and kids, though they are at the top of the list. But everyone in my family. I get joy from knowing that they are happy and succeeding in their own lives. My brother’s new job. My father’s retirement. My wife’s cousin’s new baby. My great uncle’s second cousin’s brother’s son by marriage … his graduation. If you go far enough, we all end up in the same family. So I get joy from success all around me.

Now if I list my 5 wonders and 5 accomplishments with so much explanation, it might be too much for the blog (even though I did do the work) … so I hope Mr. C will let me off the hook this time for the rest of the assignment.

Thanks for stopping by and no more homework assignments for Mr. T!

© 2008 henry toromoreno

About htwilson

born in brooklyn, raised in queens, massachusetts, that's where I be.
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19 Responses to Cosgrove’s assignment

  1. Mr Cosgrove says:

    Mr. T , you have completely captured the essence of joy – of self, environment and family. I love the aspects of your life you examined in answering this assignment.

    Actually I think Mr T has incorporated much of wonder and dreams in his response, as well Figuring things out is the root of wonder. How many people purchase a crossword puzzle book that has already been filled out? There are certain things we absolutely, positively have to figure out for ourselves.

    And from the joy and wonder Mr. T brings to the Hvaerhill high school library it is pretty evident to his colleagues that in a large sense he is living his dream. One of MY ambitions this year is to incorporate more of the library and Mr. T’s work into my classroom, even though we are at opposite ends of the world.

    Thanks Mr. T for the Homework assignment.

    Grade incomplete – we’ll keep on working it.

  2. Anya says:

    Well, Mr. Cosgrove, thanks for the assignment. I’ve never learned so much about what truly makes me ‘elated’. Also, I have to say that you’ve spelled ‘Haverhill’ wrong. Now, what exactly did you expect us to write?

    Mr.T, I also find joy in art. i am an artist. I also love to read and write, although, writing does not give me the same ‘joy’ that it does you. I wish i had enough time to stop by the library.

    Mr. Cosgrove, I did your assignment.

  3. htwilson says:

    Anya, first of all, thanks for writing … More importantly,
    keep reminding yourself that you’re an artist. Other titles will be thrown on you … student, fast food worker, black/ white, girl, this/that … but artist you will have to earn and work to keep.

    Don’t fret that writing doesn’t yet give you joy. Writing tortures me in ways I cannot share. But I work with it because I must … I’ve done it so long, and have wanted to do it well, that it is like any other habit … insatiable.

    And don’t worry, everyone eventually stops by the library.

    Mr. T

  4. Ilse Cruz says:

    Well Mr Cosgrove, I have to admit I was not able to read the whole blog. You see the library closes at 5 and I got here late. ( exactly 3 minutes ago) So I have exactly 2 minutes to write this. I also think that helping others brings me joy. I love helping people. I also like being with my family. thats all for now!

    buh bye!

  5. Melanie Shanley says:

    Mr. T,
    I really enjoyed your assignment. I liked how you explained everything that gave you joy . I agree with Mr. Cosgrove that Mr. T is living his dream. He brings joy to the Haverhill High School library. Helping others is something that gives me joy too. I sometimes babysit with my friend. Like I said, I loved your assignment and it looked like you took a long time on it with all the explaining. I bet your dreams and wonders would be awesome too.

  6. Anthony Buccini says:

    5 things that I would like to accomplish at HHS is to get good grades so I can go to college, Pass MCAS, Graduate, Find where all my classes are and to make new friends.

  7. brett says:

    well because this is my assignment i must say that i think its funny that Mr. T looked up joy on also i am nothing like Mr. T in the sense of the way he gets his joy and you’ll learn that from my powerpoint presentation sometime this year

  8. mio says:

    Wow! You really put thought on these 5 things that truley brought you joy. I think you did a really nice job with it and you are a fantastic writer. I wish I was as devoted. Keep doing the things that make you joyful!!

  9. jonathan says:

    Mr.T, family also brings joy to me.They are like medicine to me.Whenever I’m down and out they are right there picking me right back up.Also, helping others brings me joy too. The feeling you get when you helped someone out is amazing.Just knowing that you made that person’s day is priceless to me.But on the other hand, writing and words aren’t one of the things that bring me a lot of joy.One thing that you did not mention that I enjoy is skateboarding.That is one thing in my life that I truly could not live without. It is a good way for me not to take my anger out on my family or friends.

    Mr.Cosgrove, I did my assignment.

  10. jake thomas says:

    this is jake from mr cosgroves computer class.. i don’t really know what to say, but i did the assignment thing.

    skateboarding brings me joy i guess, friends also..
    money brings me lots of joy =)

    so i dont really know what else to say so bye..

  11. Hannah says:

    I don’t really understand what you’re assignment was. What Anya said threw me off as i read her’s. So I don’t really know what to say. I’ll talk to you in class tomorrow, so you can help me understand it better.


  12. Molly says:

    Wow Mr. T Amazing piece you have written. You really captured the concept of joy and it really was good. I can relate to some of the things you said. Awsome aspects of your life. Really intresting. Hope you post more. It really pulled to my attention.

    Hey Mr.T maybe you could pass on some your awsome art talent to me one day? Also tell me more about your other thoughts about joy,wonder, and your dreams. ^ _ ^

  13. Hannah says:

    I didn’t understand this assignment, when I read Anya’s opinion on this, it completely threw me off. If possible, could you explain this to me in class tomorrow and I will definitely make this up.

  14. geena says:

    Mr. T, my whole family also brings me joy in many reasons. First of all my family is huge, loud, and very fun. I am very close with my family and we see each other all the time. I have about 25 cousins and they are all like friends to me.

  15. Ilse says:

    Well, I finally got someone to let me use their laptop! I was able to read the WHOLE blog not just skim the blog. I was very amazed to figure out that Mr. T was a High School teacher before. Also, that he was a college writing teacher. Very interesting. I really didi not get Mr. Cosgroves assignment but I tried to write SOMETHING. Back to last nights homework…… one main thing I want to accomplish is that I want to pass High School. (and not get lost or overwhelmed with the size of the school)

  16. Marisa says:

    i didnt really understand the assignment either. i tried the best i could on it. there are things that bring joy & wonder to my mind. but i didnt get what i was exactly sapposed to do. but his answers where pretty intereasting!

  17. Jasmine says:

    Mr. Cosgrove, I didn’t really understand the assingment. When I read what Anya posted, I was so confused on what we were suposed to do. Tomarrow in class could you speak with me and i will certainly make this up.


  18. angelica gonyer says:

    Well Mr.T I have to agree with you 110% family is the thing the brings joy to my life the most also..I dont have a lot of family still around but the family i do have i would die for.Especially my neices and nephews 5 seconds wiht them is like 5 seconds in paradise,seeing they’re smiling faces can take away any sad feeling i have.

    Mr.cosgroves,be proud of me I am finnally doing my work,getting my act together,and thank you for this assignment,it actually made me think about what truly makes me happy,it was nice to take soem time out and think about the posititves.

  19. Jillian says:

    Mr.T, family gives me joy also knowing you have a bunch of people that support you it’s a pretty great feeling. You did a really great job of expressing joy,wonder,and dreams. Now i know what i should’ve done on my assignment. Maybe i can do it over. I would love to read more of the blogs you write.

    Keep Blogging =)

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