WILLIAM A SLOAN
Blog 398. Diet Pepsi in Black Ribbon
The semester is ending
It was my first class as a teacher in 26 years. We’ve crossed generational bridges with a little effort and a lot of grace and I think I’ve learned as much as they have.
I’m very proud of this class of new talents and very appreciative of how welcoming they’ve been. I’m the stranger in the mix, after all – the older, curious stranger – and I challenged them to look at things from a different angle, something different than what they’d come to expect, and they met my challenge and I couldn’t be happier! The progress across the board, from week 1 to week 14, has been impressive, no two ways about it. And the rewards are overwhelming.
They learned things about their field of study. And they learned things about themselves, and that is always so much more interesting to me. As I always say to them and anyone I work with, I won’t give you “bullet point” direction. My answer to any question you may ask will always be, “What do you think?” because I truly believe that all of us already have the answers to everything inside our being, just waiting to be accessed.
I forgot how much I missed it. I forgot how much I needed it, this conspiratorial collaboration with newer issues of a similar soul.
I’m so excited for their futures. I’m so already emotionally attached to their well-being. I wish them everything and I’m forever appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of their journeys.
Our final one-on-one reviews are happening and my reward, one of many, was a 6-pack of Diet Pepsi tied up with a black ribbon. Diet Pepsi, as anyone who knows me well knows, is my guilty pleasure of choice, and black ribbon is, well, black ribbon – all kinds of chic fabulosity just because it is. I laughed, I sighed, it became a part of me, because they saw me, they paid attention and they cared.
I love teaching, always have, but teaching to a new group of fascinating individuals after so many years, well, they will always be a different kind of special to me. And to Kia, Kassidy, Dannelle, Nereyda, Ellie, Emma, Theresa, Hector, Gabby, Nefeli, Nyx, Skylar and Taylor, what an honor it is to know you. Thank you for your generosity. Now go, fly high and always know that you are the gift and anyone who meets you is all the better for it!
“My job is to help you to jump off cliffs. Learning to fly is your business. And if you soar, wonderful! And if you fall, I’ll be right there to catch you, but we’re going straight back up to the cliff and we’re jumping again...because you can.”