10 November 2007

How's This For Serendipity?


My mom and I (avec two of the three kids) were having lunch at Wendy's this morning. I was having the small chili and side salad. It was good.

This elderly lady, her husband, and I guess, a sister or friend, sat in the booth behind us...I saw her glance over at us once. My initial thought was, "Oh great, another old person who wishes they could enjoy their lunch in peace without the commotion of small children." She said nothing, so I kept on eating. Her husband then goes the counter to order and that's when she turns around and says, "I'm so sorry to interrupt you..."

"...but is your last name S*****?"

I said that it was and she then tells me that she was my kindergarten teacher. Of course, the moment she says it, I recognize her. She's definitely older, but I recognize her. She then comments that I probably don't remember her name, and I said, "Yes, you were Miss Castel when I had you, then you became Mrs. Bollinger." She then goes on to tell me that she thinks of me often and has brought up my name in many conversations.

You see, I was basically a child prodigy.

I went off to kindy in the fall of 1980, knowing how to read and read well. My mom told me it was because I watched so many episodes of the game show 'Password'.

Mrs. B says right there during lunch that she never had to teach me to read, because I already knew it. She also comments that she's brought me up in her conversations with others, especially when they rave about a youngster who was an early reader. She's able to counter with "Yes, well, I once had a kindergartener come to my class able to read!" She also asks my daughter if she's "just like her Mom, able to read in kindergarten."

So, we chitchat for a few more minutes...and she looks delighted when I tell her I'm now an English teacher.

All in all, about a five minute exchange. But it really made my day...maybe even my year. Usually, it's the students who are touched by the teachers...how wonderful to be the student who has touched a teacher.

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