Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Old Students, Old Friends Stay in Touch

During the last couple of days I've heard from several past students, Sebastian pictured left and Lisa. Lisa was a student in several of my classes in a previous life when I was a professor at the now defunct Trinity College in Burlington, Vermont. She graduated in 1988 and tells me she now teaches 8th grade biology and has twin 17 year-old children, a boy and a girl. She reminded me how she used to come and watch me sing in an Irish band at the Last Chance saloon in the days when the drinking age was 18.

The other old student, old friend, is Sebastian who graduated from St. Michael's just two years ago. A tall, 6'9", 'skinny kid' from northern Vermont who played center on the SMC basketball team,  Sebastian is one of the major success stories of the education program at St. Michael's but not because he has gone on to become an outstanding elementary school teacher or school principal. Sebastian is one of those rare people who is able to successfully admit to the need to adjust his goals in life at a formative stage after already committing to a particular path. Towards the end of his student teaching experience he realised that teaching was not what he thought it was or what he really wanted to do. So he graduated, set out for Alaska, discovered he wanted to fly aiplanes and is now a qualified pilot flying people and things around Alaska. 

Here's a short piece from Sebastian's email that I will always remember;  The most important thing I realized, however, was how I could never have ended up where I am today without each and every member of my Saint Michael's family. You all did things for me that you did not have to do. You all took time and energy out of your lives in order to set me on this path. Your high standards for achievement, your caring, understanding, and love have helped me to flourish and achieve everything I have set out to do in my life since Saint Mike's, and I am so deeply thankful from the bottom of my heart.

This is what life is all about. 

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