September 9, 2013
Out of the blue, I got a Facebook message from a former student who is currently studying abroad in Austrailia. This is a girl I absolutely adored--the kind of student who is full of life, love, wonder, and curiosity. She has such a positive outlook and a generous heart, and is fiercely intelligent besides. Imagine how completely gratifying and humbling it was for me, then, to receive this post from her:
Haley Laningham: You
should know as I'm sitting in a cozy flat at the bottom of the world,
that the teaching you did and the literature you used to do it had a
very important and lasting impact on my security and identity as a woman
within which I find clarity and substance every day.
my dear, you can't possibly know how you've made my day. My job is not
just a job to me--it is a calling, and it's a calling where I can only
hope that in a small way I am able to make a connection with some of the
kids I get to call my own for a short
time. Most of the time, I can't really know how successful I am in
that endeavor; these are not things that are measured on a test
somewhere. If anything I did helped you even in the slightest realize
or connect with yourself or the world around you, I am touched, and I am
grateful to have shared in that. I have had the pleasure to have met
some wonderfully spirited, intelligent, loving, curious, and
beautiful-hearted individuals in my years of teaching--a handful of
students who have left an imprint on me more profound than I am likely
to have left in return. Please know that you are one of these, without a
doubt. My very best wishes to you on this current adventure--I very
much look forward to hearing all about it!
Seriously--this just may be enough of an emotional battery charge to carry me for months.