Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Circle of Life

"Till we find our place on the path unwinding ..."
Tim Rice

DAY 54:  At first, the idea of having taught long enough to be teaching children of past students was a little distressing.  It began a few years ago, and now it's not out of the ordinary for a student to say "You taught my dad" or "You taught my mom."  I was only 23 when I started teaching, after all.  There's a certain sense of completion and fulfillment that comes from that "circle of life."  I rarely ever admit it, discuss it, or even like to think about it much, but there's a wistful part of me that regrets never having children.  I joke about not liking small children, but I do think I would've made a hell of a dad.  And I sometimes get a bit down when I see a father playing with his children, like my cousin with his two young boys last week.  I am grateful, however, that I can have my own impact on successive generations. 

A student of mine (one of those who told me from day one, "You taught my mom") was called out of class this afternoon to go down to the office and she returned with her mom.  I was BEYOND THRILLED to see her ... she was one of my favorite students from one of my earliest years of teaching, and although she's nearly 40 (can you believe it?), she looked EXACTLY the same.  She wore the same memorable smile that could light up an entire city and had the same effervescent personality over 20 years later.  After a big hug, she pointed at me and told my class, "Best teacher EVER!"

Thank you, Carmen ... you're the best, too ...

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