A Blast from the Past

My desk is an eclectic collection ranging from empty ink cartridges to a cat toy. Among the “treasures” is a stack of clipped articles that inspire creative thought. Within that stack is an article written by Ruth Stanley (The Post and Mail, May 29-31, 2010) titled Teachers, students are forever linked.

Ruth ended the article with “You may be in their class for just one year, but you are their student for a lifetime.”   After 23 years of teaching and more than 3,000 students later, I agree it is difficult to let the student grow up.
Tonight Iris called out-of-the-blue. She found me on Facebook after all these years. She began to list what all we shared that one year:  learning the Greek goddess Iris is the Rainbow Goddess, reading The Outsiders, and making original cookie recipes with Invention Convention. We shared disdain for a math teacher and we remembered the loss of a dear classmate Allison Yoder. 
No, I cannot believe Iris is nearly 35 because I was not 35 when I taught her. It is not possible she has children and is fulfilling a dream of going to college since I was barely out of college when I knew her. 
Yes, Ruth, I still see Iris in the 7th grade. I remember Iris’ bright eyes and how they sparkled when she laughed and enjoyed what she was learning. Iris’ smile was quick and her laugh hearty with a touch of ‘old soul’.   It was that year I went through a divorce. Iris’ class threw me a Divorce Party to lessen the pain. 
Tonight’s call was a blast from the past. Within a moment I was 26 again teaching 7th grade English at Goshen Middle School. Iris was a teenager discovering the stories of Greek gods and goddesses thrilled to find the Rainbow Goddess shared her name. 
It’s true, Ruth. Iris was my student for one year, but has remained my student for a lifetime. 
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