Sunday, November 16, 2008

Facing the Past and Creating a New Present

I admit it. I have a Facebook Account. I started it to keep in touch with my nieces who are busy getting good grades in college, but who check in at their own Facebook accounts several times a day. I figured I could stay in touch and involved in their life on a daily basis this way, and that has been the case. What I didn't expect was how many other people I would connect, or reconnect, with. Hundreds. Literally. Most of them former students from the four academies where I've taught over the past 30 years (can it be that many?!).

Oh the sweetness of a note in my inbox asking how I'm doing, if I'm still teaching, reminding me of something from another place, another time. Oh the dismay of realizing that these "kids" are no grown up with children and grandchildren (a few of them!). I've loved that when they ask "remember me?" I do. I've loved catching up, seeing pictures of babies and spouses. i've loved playing Scramble and Word Twist with 'kids" I used to give vocabulary quizzes to each week!

A curious thing about this facebook set up is that once you are friends with someone online, you get to see who their friends are. Even curiouser has been the discovery of such things as the daguther (from Oklahoma) of a 4th grade classmate of mine (from Ohio) who is good friends with our former chaplain (from California) and the young woman (a graduate of our school who commuted from New Hampshire and now travels around the country with her evangelist husband)! Their college alma mater was the common denominator between the three of them (and while my classmate and I also attended this univeristy, it was at different times from each other as well as the three young people).

It is a cliche to say it's a small world when referencing my world. It's also a truism. it choulsn't surprise me anymore, how connected we are in small and big ways. Everywhere I've ever been in the world (literally), I've found someone I know or who knows someone close to me. School has always been the connecting point, one way or another. Christian schools all of them. And even though quite a number of these kids I'm reconnecting with are no longer part of the church that used to connect us, they feel a connection to the Christian schools they attended for a year or more several years in their past. Enough so when they see a face from that past, they reach out and ask to reconnect, to create a new present as friends. I have yet to turn down a request.

It's the same way with God. It can be years between conversations but He will always accept if we ask to be His friend. he will always be glad to see our name attached to that request. And it will be as if we had always been talking. How cool is that?

Photos: My current school in eastern MA, my former schools in Maine, central MA, central Michigan, and my current school again.

1 comment:

Shawn Brace said...

You taught at PTA??