Thursday, August 21, 2014

A very pleasant change

About a decade ago, I had a sad epiphany: when I was young, my parents were forever concerned with scores and results related to me, such as my GPA (my mom was a stickler for me being on the honor roll and maintaining the discount on our insurance), my ACT score (took it once my junior year and achieved an above average score and never thought about retaking it again), my summer income (especially my the balance in my savings account), my student loan amounts, my first salary at Lincoln when I was hired for my first real job, and so on on.

Then, as I said, about a decade ago, I realized that those were the good old days, for soon I was the one who began to worry about scores and results as the related to Mom and Dad: their stress test results, biopsy results, CAT scan results, blood work, colonoscopy results, and on and on and on.  Until both of my parents were gone (from lung cancer).

For a number of years Kristie and I were periodically attending funerals for family and friends.  In my immediate family alone, I can look at a Christmas picture taken at my sister's home from 12 years ago and count six people who have passed away!

I remember Kristie adding up the funerals Casey and KoKo have had to attend (and this was before Kenzie and Cash were born) and the number was at least 10!

While the funerals are inevitable I'm afraid (we actually just attended one for a dear friend just a few weeks ago), there are starting to be more weddings to attend than funerals!  Happy times.

About 15 years ago, I was in seven or eight weddings within the span of two years.  However, outside of my own, there have only been a few weddings to attend.  That, however, has changed now that my former students are getting married.

This is a most welcomed change.  While I cannot attend them all, as many happen in the summer when we are away or busy, I still try to make all the weddings I possibly can.

Last winter I attended one for a past student, Alex and his wife.  It was an amazing event.  The reception was held at the Ralph in town.  There were so many former students and players there to talk to that I could have stayed there a week catching up.  In fact, as I looked around at many of my former football players, I joked that we had enough team members from our 7-1 season that we could go out into the parking lot and run 245 counter (our best play that year, where Michael Benedict probably averaged 15 yards per carry on it) without a hitch!

One student I visited with for at least 45 minutes was Carli, who is now a nurse and - at that time - was about to get married the following spring.

Sure enough, at the end of May I attended her wedding (she married another former students and player, Kasey).  They had their reception in the Emperial room at the Ralph.  Again, I found myself sitting with some of my past students and talking the night away.

Last week I had the last wedding of the summer, this one for my former student, Ashley (who tied a record for most consecutive classes from me in a row.  The poor thing had me for the last half of her junior year and then all of her senior year.  I can only thing of a few students who have been subjected to so much of Reynolds!) and Nick (another former student and player).

Here I am with Ashley.

Again, I was able to visit all night with former students and players.  Here I am with one of my favorite former students, Derek.

It is truly amazing to see the impact teachers have on their students.  And it's amazing to see the remarkable young people our students grow into.

I could not be prouder of them all!

No comments: