This is my twelfth year at Mondoville, which is a long time in some respects, but a very short one in others. Yesterday, I had something happen that has not to my knowledge happened to me before.
My freshpeeps are working on a paper — a response to Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” At the end of class, one young woman said to me, “You know, I read this in high school. My English teacher was a student of yours.” I felt my eyebrows rise, and asked who her teacher had been. She told me, and thank Heaven, it was a student I remembered well (and with whom I stay in touch via Facebook.) We talked about the former student a bit, and then my current student said, “Yeah, she told me to take your class.” And after another pleasantry or two, she and I went our separate directions.
As I think about it this morning, I realized that although I talk about my job sustaining the stories, poems, and tactics of good writing for another generation or two, I really hadn’t absorbed the idea that I might be part of some sort of legacy. I’m teaching the students of my students now. Eventually, I may teach the children of my students (not that uncommon in the lower grades, but an experience I haven’t had yet.)
It’s a little frightening, but it’s also pretty cool, and one of the nicer things about having decided to bloom where I’m planted, here in Mondoville.