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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

About Yesteryear

Pin It “Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers; the next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul.”

~Kevin Arnold – The Wonder Years

Moments pass in our lives like the playing of a favorite song on the radio. For a brief instant it is there, weaving itself into the fabric of now, becoming part of the tapestry of living. Then it is gone, leaving behind the memory which, like that weaving, can become faded with the onslaught of time.

Last night I found myself slipping into yesterday.

I had a visit after school from a boy I had mentored for several years; he’d showed up without warning. It wasn’t long before he was telling me about his recent experiences of life, about his upcoming graduation from high school, and his countless memories of yesterday.

As I listened to him talk of the past, I found myself slipping into the days back when he was much shorter than I was; I was his mentor so long ago. It seemed another lifetime, really; back before facial hair and critical life decisions.

As we talked about the moments he’d—or I’d—forgotten, we both laughed. It was a moment where I found myself, just for just a minute, stepping into yesterday. After nearly an hour, this young man left. Yet, I found myself still milling over the words of our conversation.

When I came home I did a little digging; it wasn’t long before I unearthed a DVD I’d put together of a camping trip I’d recorded of this young man and two other boys I had been mentor to. As I slipped the disk into the player, and the room ignited with the light of the screen, as also it did with the remembrance of times past.

I laughed out loud. I found myself inundated with memories of a trip with these three boys which was a lot of fun. I missed them. I started to miss all of the kids I’ve been a teacher or mentor to over the past decade of my time on this earth.

As the video came to and end, I sat in the darkened room; I began to wonder about them all. What were they up to now? Where had the pathway of their lives led them? What kind of people had they grown up to be?

I could only hope that they had all turned out…good.

“Over the course of the average lifetime you meet a lot of people. Some of them stick with you through thick and thin. Some weave their way through your life and disappear forever. But once in a while someone comes along who earns a permanent place in your heart”

—Kevin Arnold, The Wonder Years


Rachel said...

I thought the quote up top was going to say something like, "You start out in diapers and eventually end up back in diapers......" :)

I can't speak for all.....but I know of some students that you've had who still remember you fondly and say you made an impact for good on their lives and think you are the best teacher they've ever had......

That says.....a lot!

Richard & Natalie said...

Ooooo, Kevin Arnold...I had a little crush on him. :)

Isn't it funny how your experiences with them during their 'wonder years' translate into your own 'wonder' years later?

I know one who has been impacted- and I'm praying it will be lasting.

A Lark said...

I love the quotes. This is a great reflective post. Once in awhile I find myself in the same place - pondering my yesterdays and the people whose paths have crossed....or merged....with mine.

Lori said...

I love that your students and kids that you've mentored come back to visit you and fill you in on their lives periodically. What a huge testament to the influence you've had on them, the impact you've made.

Love the song.

Most beautiful girl in the whole wide room said...

Just reading the words "The Wonder Years" took me back to the days of Sega and noogies from my older brother! Thanks for the post. It's good to reflect on the past at times. I've been doing that quite a bit this week. Good and bad, the past is what forms us. :)

Mamma has spoken said...

Those students go on and get married, have children that you end up teaching, making you feel older than dirt. Yes, it has happen to me already......

Lars said...

Sometimes people come into other lives and are only there for a brief moment, but they cause a chain reaction or a catalyst if you will. You don't see the longevity you have on your students but it is there and it will continue to be there, even when you depart this earth. That is what makes teachers legends, the way in which they connect with impressionable minds and forever change their lives.

Corine said...

Nicely done ;) - love it! I esp love that last quote, mingled with a statement you made about memories fading. It always amazes me how my mind can forget so many memories, and yet the results of those memories somehow live on forever, even after the memories have faded away to a stubble.

And, I LOVE the statement you made, that you "only hope that they had all turned out... good." :) I laughed out loud when I read that, because that is what runs through my mind when I reminisce over old friends.

:) Thanks for sharing.

Sarah said...

Man, some visit from the past can be great and some can be...not so great. It's wonderful that this visit turned out so well, I'm SURE there are other students out there that are doing well. Um, I mean good!!

Teachinfourth said...

Rachel - Sometimes, one just hopes they've left a positive mark behind.

Natalie - I love that show, too. I never had a crush on Kevin...Winnie? Just a bit. I'm flattered about the fact that your mancub thinks I'm cool. Boy, I sure do have him faked out, don't I?

Janelle - Makes you think of that song from "Wicked" doesn't it? I listen to it and am reminded of many people in my own past whose paths have crossed mine.

Lori - It's always a treat when they do decide to stop by for a visit. It's like Christmas in the middle of the year.

MBGITWWR - It is good to reflect every now and again, isn't it?

Bonnie - Don't remind me! My first class just graduated and one of my students is engaged. Of course, it'll be 11 more years before I'd get any of their kids...

Lars - That is true. I still think about some of my teachers who've affected my life.

Corine - I - at times - am reminded of memories of our growing up. Then again, there are many that I don't remember. It's always good to reconnect with good friends and be reminded of some of those moments of timespace.

Sarah - Did I use well-good incorrectly? I probably did. A curse upon me!

You're right though, visits are always great to have.

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