Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

In praise of student success (A Sunday Blessing)

I spent the day shopping yesterday with two of my beloved former advisees, Jena and April. Both graduated in May, and I haven't seen either since. We had a great time, former teacher and students -- it felt more like Mom and daughters day (or girlfriend shopping day). I loved it and it was refreshing! What fine young woman they both are!

Jena met me at 8:30 and we ventured to the Morningside Curb Market, which is a haven for those who want fresh, local, organic food. After purchasing a bunch of spicy lemon basil, organic ground speckled grits, and three pounds of organic grain-fed beef, tasting Swiss chocolate, and sampling cheese and limonata, we did the Lenox "Mall Crawl." April joined us at Crate and Barrel, then we visited Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Teavana, and the mothership, Williams-Sonoma. After sushi and wedge salads for lunch, we all went to the mother of all Whole Foods markets in Buckhead.

But early Saturday morning, when I was in the Swiss chocolate place at Morningside with Jena, I felt in some small way, my work is worth something. I felt redeemed. Jena is a marketing assistant at a large, powerful Atlanta law firm -- "the firm," as she calls it --and she worked like hell to get there. She held two internships there and joined them immediately -- two days even -- after her last class ended. (n.b. April, don't feel left out on this one. I am enormously proud of you! You know that!)

But while purchasing some delectable chocolate -- and it was, I'm telling you, it was -- I saw something every teacher loves: I saw my student in action.

Jena entered into a serious discussion of corporate holiday gifts with the store owner, discussing shipping, handling, turnaround time, and base cost. My memory went back to our PR class when she was admin of senior and alumni luncheon. She got a shipping list, exchanged business cards, and graciously oohed over a champagne truffle. Then she offered the owner a firm handshake, and he agreed to bring a chocolate sampling to "the firm" if she'd like.

I almost wept. Not that I was surprised, for I wasn't. Jena always showed -- shows -- great finesse in life. But I remembered the day she tried to make anagrams out of Brandenburg v. Ohio on her law test before frankly admitting she didn't know the answer, but thought I needed a laugh.

Nothing warms the heart of this college professor more than seeing a former student in action. I don't know if I taught her any of it, but I am proud to say her presence graced my classroom. I learned from her. Like others before, and others still to come, she "does me proud." So, so proud.

Much love and pride,


The Bouceks said...

I'm so proud of myself...I wasn't even jealous when I read your blog. I like your Sunday blessing blogs!

Danny, Jennifer, and Baby Watson said...

Me, too...I love the Sunday Blessing blogs. I think they should be nationally syndicated in some fabulous newspapers!!!

Your blog made me teary-eyed thinking about my own students. I know I ventured away from the journalism scene (really shouldn't have been there to begin with, but that's a different story for a different least my favorite people came from it!), but the education scene...there's nothing like it. It's hard for me to believe that the sophomores I taught during my student teaching semester will graduate this year, and my first group of freshmen are now juniors. It's always wonderful to get their emails and learn what's been going on with them. I can't wait until they write me to tell me about all of their "firms" and families and successes that I know will come in the next few years. That's why teaching, in any capacity, is the best profession in the world!

The Petersons said...

Reading this oddly reminded me of the summer of Jocks and Jill's internships....there is nothing like seeing Julie Harrell in pr mode...

Watson--I, too, agree with your statement...but I am very glad that you were in journalism...and like you've told me'll use those pr skills in class (and with their parents) on a daily basis!

Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. said...

And I'd like to remind ALL three of you that I've seen you all in professional mode -- and I got teary eyed with you, too :-)

Yes, Jason, you too.