Four years ago, I wrote a post called “Adult (or almost) students, a teacher’s gift.’ In that blog, I wrote about the joy of connecting with my former students, and discovering the wonderful human beings they have grown to be, as if there were doubts! Say what you will, but if it weren’t for Facebook, I would not have the contact. It’s a gift.
Recently, I received another “gift” from a former student. I taught Logan Sparks in first grade, the class of 1982-83. It was a darling class, and I could probably tell you a story about each one of those kids in that class. We had some interesting adventures, including Paddington Bear coming to visit us, and the day of the field trip, when the bus forgot us, and instead of going out in the world in excitement, we were left at school (with no lesson plans), to make the best of it, and we did.
Back to my “gift.” Logan co-wrote a screenplay for Harry Dean Stanton, who just passed away last week. AND, Logan named one of the characters in the movie after ME! This afternoon, I saw his movie, Lucky. My bestest neighbor friends went with me, and I had a “past-meets-the-present” moment. Nearly seven years ago, when I first came to Winston-Salem, I knew only 8 people, and 4 of them were under the age of 11. Today, I was mentioned in an anecdote in the newspaper, and I saw the movie with 10 of my neighbors and friends, who came along to share the experience with me. (There were other people in the audience, too, by the way.)
I saw a film that was funny-in-places, thought provoking and poignant, written by one of my long-ago first graders, who gave me “Special Thanks” in the credits of his movie. It was a quirky, heart-wrenching tribute to Mr. Stanton and quite good. Some of us wept.
So, 35 years isn’t too long to wait for such a gift, now, is it? As my friend told the audience, before the movie began, “if you love the Arts, thank a teacher.” I know Logan had a lot of good teachers. We were all truly thanked.