Have you ever had the amazing opportunity to work with your mentor? Your guru? Or, your master teacher? As a professional? I had a recent conversation with a retired teacher- friend who is now regularly emailing her former high school English teacher. They have met in the middle, so to speak.
It reminds me of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story called The Curious Life of Benjamin Button. He and his destined lover only had those precious years when they were the same age and on the same playing field because he was aging backwards as she was getting older. The movie from 2008 was well-cast with Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt and Taraji P. Henson.
I had two such sainted experiences when I met my high school freshman English teacher on the city bus some years back. She had moved on to become the English Department Chairwoman at one of the city colleges. I was happy to share that I had taken her lead and had also taught English on the high school and college levels. She was pleased to hear it!
Years hence, I received a one-year Lectureship at my college alma mater. To my astonishment, my former English professor was still working on campus and had also become the Department Chairman. We had a hearty chat and though he probably did not remember me, he was still impressed that we had become colleagues. We too had met in the middle!
I am always gladdened and amazed when I run into my former students who are doing well and have made good choices. It does the heart good to know that seeds tenderly sown produce bountiful and beautiful fruit.
Teachers teach but, they can still be taught. This certainly holds true when they are able to witness the fruits of their labor. Buddha said, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” But let’s reverse that and say, “When the teacher is ready, the student appears!!
Lynn M. May 25, 2019