As I write this, the fall semester is officially over (with the exception of frantic English professors still grading those last few essays so they can turn in their grades by the 4:30 deadline). So it seems an appropriate time to reflect on and thank the people who unintentionally served as my teachers this year.
- To Donna, thanks for sharing how to suffer a great loss with dignity and love and for providing an example of courage and faith.
- To the ESL students who come to the library, thanks for reminding me how much persistence matters when going after a goal.
- To the LRC staff, thanks for being both supportive and honest, and never letting me be surrounded with a bunch of “yes men.”
- To the grumpy woman at the check-out counter, thanks for the lesson that a kind word can often deescalate a situation, but an angry word on top of another angry word will surely not.
- To Jeff, the IT guy who has an office in the library, thanks for demonstrating that it is possible to be patient and kind, even when asked the same question over and over and over and over again.
- To the constant complainer, thanks for reminding me that constant complaining is the surest way to drive people away.
- To that person who can never take criticism and advice, thanks for showing me how I don’t want to be.
- To the man who screamed at the Wendy’s employee at the drive-thru, thanks for not being in my life for more than this one unpleasant moment.
You get the picture. There are teachers everywhere if we’ll just pay attention.