The Past Comes Back

It’s nice to know that after almost 30 years people can forget the awful things you’ve said to them. Especially if you were the student and the other person was the teacher/administrator.

I ran into such a person tonight. It was at a reception at my children’s school. She is the head of the accreditation team coming to evaluate the school. I was at the reception because my husband is president of our school’s Board of Trustee’s.

So there we were. I could have let it go, never mentioned the old connection. But I’ve spent my life desiring, for myself and others, that we not hide the hard or ugly things—past or present. Here, I realized, was a moment in which I could practice what I preached. I introduced myself. Told her my maiden name and waited for the look of horror on her face.

It didn’t happen. Instead she hugged me. She was so excited to see me. She either didn’t remember my angry junior high words or she was gracious enough not to mention them. Instead, we talked and laughed and left each other with a hug.

It’s nice to know that 30 years can change people. And it’s nice to know that others’ memories of us don’t last as long as our own.

3 comments on “The Past Comes Back

  1. Carla–my own years in school are probably why I never had a desire to teach–in spite of coming from a long line of teachers!

    And you’re right, L.L. I hadn’t thought about it that way. I like that.

  2. This really strikes a cord with me. I can remember doing awful things in jr. high to teachers. Well, mostly behind their backs, and I knew I NEVER wanted to teach that age kids. Maybe teachers who do choose that have a special insight or armour that allows them to deflect the adolescent horribleness and see the good residing underneath. It sounds like your experience was a nice reminder of that.

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