I know. Big whup. But as I read her message, I started to tear up. Maybe I’m losing it in my dotage, but she was able to quote lessons from a class I taught a year ago and I don’t remember the last time I felt so good about something I did professionally.
I mean, honestly. I am a professor. I’m a teacher, but sometimes, I don’t know if I’m teaching anything, or if I’m just being really entertaining in front of a group of mildly-amused students. (That’s how I feel most days; I’m nothing if not entertaining.)
But entertaining only gets a student so far. It’s when you can light a fire in them that moves them to take what you taught and run with it that means everything. It means you live forever. And how cool is that?
Congrats. That is wonderful.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – Neil Postman
I know your student was beyond childhood. Still, it is especially cool when you can have a positive impact on the next generation to carry on with the drive to make the world more fair, more kind, and more loving. And, it’s cool when you can help someone find one of their passions and know your efforts meant something.
A patient once told me, (via writing in another language and as translated by one of her family members) “You treat me like a person”. It was so basic, but it meant so much more than those words. I offered respect and gentleness where it was lacking. I took the time to hear her (though she couldn’t speak) and be a voice for her. I became her advocate when others looked for shortcuts to judgment. It meant so much to her and I in turn learned so much from her. It’s something I carry with me when I work with people and I am grateful for that awareness. It was one of several of experiences during my time as a nurse that I can point to and say, going to nursing school was time well spent.
The possibility that you might make a difference for someone else is a strong motivator. It’s so satisfying when it happens. I imagine you’ll hear from many more students in the future. The students are lucky to have you as a guide into life.
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