Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Then a Call from Juno, Alaska at 10 p.m. Opens Up a Pathway to Memories and the Way Life Used to Be

Dfli, the Dragonfly, entered my classroom in 1997 as a wide-eyed, enthusiastic and highly creative creature who was curious of the Frog character that entered the Brown School and even more trusting that his lily pad would guide a group of pond knuckleheads through high school for the next four years. She, more than most of the others, had total investment and faith that this clown knew what he was doing. The adventures were many, the writing even more, the trinkets and gifts plentiful, and the belief in one another superb.

18 years later and it's 2016. Zoom. Just like that.

Dfli called last night when I was wrapping up grading for the evening. She FaceTimed, actually, from Alaskan drizzle and day light to show me her little Grayson running around the back yard with his retriever and to update me on her there again, back again, there again journey of working as a social worker and case worker for domestic violence in Juno. Obviously she's older than I was at the time I taught the class of 2001, and it still remains surreal that they implanted such a wonderful mark (scars?) upon my soul. My first freshman class moved with me to the sophomore class. I changed positions, and they moved with me for their junior year and I had them again for their senior year, too. If any of them are slighted in their adult life for the way they think, speak, or write - well, that's all my fault and I am fully responsible.

Alice is still at the Brown School and this next year, she will see her 20th class graduate. Had I stayed, it would be the same for me. I can't imagine what another decade of Brown grads would be like because my last 10 years have introduced me to my own adventures and roadways.

But at the core, still, remains Frog's first year as a pollywog being inspired, prodded, challenged, and humored by a Dragon Fly. With her was a duck, a goldfish, a tree, a deer, a turtle, a swan, a sprite, a worm, a crow, a fox, and forests and seas of other creatures to follow. They invested in me just as much as I was fortunate enough to invest in them.

The iridescent wings of that magical creature still flutter around my heart, even as the chronicles have moved to a new state and settled in another branch of adulthood I never thought was possible.

Ah, life. But now I must await the arrival of a new washer in the window frame of 7 a.m. - 11. They need to get her early, because I teach at 10:55.


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