July 14, 2015
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day’s gift.)
|Teacher and student after more than 40 years.|
Thanks to the connections that technology enables, I am in touch with dozens of former students, some of whom date back to my beginning teaching days in the late 60’s. Many are Facebook friends and we keep in touch with “likes,” “comments” and “messages.” I’ve also connected in real time with some, even as far away as Los Angeles.
Most of us change quite a bit from our days as middle school and junior high students, so it is interesting for me to re-connect with former students as adults. I’ve seen mischievous and reluctant students transform into loving, hardworking parents. I’ve seen students with beginning passions long ago continue to build on their talents as adults. It is especially rewarding to see some who have overcome roadblocks and who now live happy, productive lives as they help others today.
Today I met in person with Colleen, one of my students from the late 60’s or early 70’s. It is impossible to remember every one of my more than 2500 students throughout the years but I do remember Colleen as a sweet girl who cared about people and was interested in outdoor experiences. Today was a heart-warming experience as she and her mother welcomed David and me with smiles, open arms and lunch. As she shared photos, writing and family history with me, it was obvious that Colleen continues to be a delightful human being.
It amazes me that a former student even remembers me after all those years and then tells me that I made a difference to her. I was overwhelmed by the graciousness, generosity, sincerity and warmth that I experienced today. Before we left, Colleen gave me one earring she had made and promised to send me another for my other ear.