It goes without saying that the memories you share with old students can last a lifetime. I don’t think I’ll ever forget some of the great memories I had in my first year of full-time teaching, and I also doubt I’ll forget the bad ones, too. That’s just how our brains work; we hold onto the extremes, not the middle ground. We attach ourselves to extreme emotions, the ones that are most memorable to us. Unless we learn to forget them, which takes time, they are bound to us like leeches, siphoning energy, metabolism, and life. Old students can be thoughtful reminders of simpler and more complicated times, simultaneously. Old students restore my teaching spirit and remind me why I entered the profession in the first place, to learn, to teach, to inspire a deep passion in others to read, write, and explore literature and creative writing. In fact, if I were to simplify it down to just one goal, it’s to inspire creative writers to write, just like I do. I hope, by the end of my one year of teaching in Milford, at least one student took on the habit of journaling or writing poetry on their own. It would make me happy to know that that’s taken place.
I recently received a message from a student, not too long ago, asking how things were going. I haven’t responded yet, but I’ve thought about what to say for awhile, leading mostly nowhere. That’s what inspired this post, and I know that this student learned and enjoyed my class. That fact alone, and the reminder of it that the message confirmed, brings me great joy. I hope that this feeling lasts for longer than other times. Fingers crossed. Nothing is confirmed.