I got a call the other night from Sally, a former student. She's graduated and gone on to a professional school, but was in town and called to see if I wanted to get together.
What a joy. Sally's lot is on the tougher side of things, but she's one of those people I just feel privileged to know. She's smart, worked reasonably hard in classes, and was always a great contributor with a great attitude all around. She's doing well in her program, but worried about decisions she needs to make in the future, what to go on to next, where to live, and so forth. I don't have much to offer that way, except cheering from the sideline and having breakfast and coffee when she stops through near NWU on occasion.
I hear occasionally from some former students, mostly for happy reasons. Mostly it's a pleasure to hear from them. Sally, though, gives me hope for the future. When you're worried about whether the next generation is going to do well, think of Sally. With folks like her, they'll surely do as well as mine or the one before mine (you know, the folks running the current administration). And maybe, just maybe, they'll do a bit better.
The same day I had breakfast with Sally, I got an email from Rob. Rob basically disappeared from class about ten weeks into the semester last term, and so didn't turn in the final two essays or do his class presentation. Or lots of other work. He wanted a breakdown so he could see exactly why he failed the class.
It's easy to give a breakdown for Rob, so I did, and sent it along with a friendly email.
But it's weird. Did he expect somehow to pass the class? Does he think my math is bad and he's going to be able to juggle the numbers around to show that he should get a magical C or something? I just don't get it.
And a final note: the shower was good. It felt like everyone in the room is just genuinely happy and excited for this couple and wanted to share the good feeling.
I don't mean to be agist, but I felt really different about this than the showers I remember from my youth. There was less giggliness and a different kind of pleasure. When I was younger, a mixed company baby shower felt like challenging the patriarchy or something. Now it feels natural with men. I like that about this community.