Monday, June 6, 2011

Lunch with the Formers

I love May and June. The optimism of summer's arrival which brings longer days, evenings that linger, and reasons to sit on the deck, but also for the many notices of graduations, not only of my friends’ children but also of former students.

When I was a teacher, June made me so happy for all of the reasons you can imagine; I loved the end of school -- time off from grading essays, preparing lessons, and herding students.

June. Awesome June. [I didn't like July as much -- too close to the month of August which meant back to school.]

God gave us June because He loves school teachers. :)

Since I am retired, June is just June, another month of the year --- and no one asks me anymore about how I will spend all my time off, since, well, since all my time is off.


In the last two years, the end of May and first of June is the time that former students get in contact with me. When I was still teaching, they would lurk and peer around my classroom door, stop by after the bell has rung [and sometimes during the school day -- ack!] telling me of their college experience [a time that I used to take the opportunity to ask them if they were well-prepared] or stop by to talk about their job, their travel, or what they had been doing.

Their coming back to see me, their high school teacher, seemed odd since I never entered the doors of my high school again after graduation. I guess I lived in a different time; it never occurred to me to go back to see Coach Hunter, Miss McKensive, Coach Rice, or Mrs. Perkins, some of my favorite teachers; just because they were my favorite teacher does not mean I was their favorite student.

Just sayin'.

In the past two weeks, I have seen four former students. All of them in interesting places in their young lives and making me proud that they will be contributors to society. All of them smart, focused, responsible, and motivated.

I remember where I was at their age, totally unlike them in most ways. Freshly graduated from college, I tried to avoid finding a job;in fact, what little attempt I did make then at job searching was not in the teaching field. I looked at every other kind of job but that -- banks, restaurants, newspapers, and I even interviewed to be an executive assistant at a garbage disposal company -- when I looked at all. I wanted to hang out with my friends, live off the folks, and eek out what I saw as my summer vacation for as long as possible.

God and my daddy had other plans for me, btw, but that is a blog for a different day.

Here are blurbs about the formers I saw recently:

Kristin and I met at Gabriel’s for lunch where she told me about her four years at the University of Oklahoma and her study abroad in Turkey. Brave girl – Oklahoma and Turkey are really far from home.

She landed a job at a company that has headquarters in Farmington, New Mexico, where she will be doing something with something. I say that because even though I know she will be a petroleum physicist, her job, in reality, seems pretty cerebral . I asked her about her favorite class in college, and she said that she really enjoyed Rock Properties [is that capitalized?]

I "Googled" Farmington to see where she would be living --- the city itself is only a little over a hundred years old but sits near some serious mines. Must be why the company she’ll work for picked that particular place to house its employees and staff.

Kristin: Ya think, Mrs. G.?


The next weekend, I met Mary and Emily at Chick-Fil- A. They don’t come in a pair, but we seem to try to get together when the three of us can. Mary’s looking for a teaching job –

bless her—

*swings amulets around*

and Emily’s working an internship. Interning? Working?

Since Emily’s majoring in business and journalism, her internship is some kind of combo of that. She's working for an author whose writing thrust is, for me, and apparently Mary and Emily, a new fiction genre. Have you ever heard of Urban Fiction?

Later when I was telling my husband about it, I called it Gritty City Romance. Then I said, no it might be Gangsta Chick Lit.

I finally emailed Emily to get the right name. Emily also told me that her writer she is interning with wishes to write Intellectual Romance.

Intellectual Romance? Is that possible?

*scratches head*


This past weekend I saw Shelley, who lives in the city [I guess Emily can recommend some books for her to read], and I headed to see her urban roost, a fabulous renovated apartment in Atlanta’s old Girls’ High School.

When I was in high school, we played competition sports against this school, but by then, the school was coed and called Roosevelt High School.

Shelley just completed her first year as a “grown up” in the bio-medical field, and I am sure that what she does is interesting. I only recognized a few words from her work vocabulary: office politics, engineer, lunch, and crying all the way home. Otherwise, she slid into some serious geek jargon, the kind heard around the dinner table with my own nieces and nephews at Christmas.

Shelley and I went to eat at The Matador Cantina in Glenwood.

Our waitress sported a few piercings and some body art, not that there is anything wrong with that, but from the beginning, she seemed a little revved as she slung chips on the table, ably poured ice out of a pitcher that rung Shelley’s straw like a hoop, and didn’t use one correct verb tense the whole time she waited on us.

I tried to calm her down by asking her what she thought about Shelley’s having lunch with her high school English teacher, me.

Wrong Verbs Waitress eyeballed us: [after a pretty long pause as if she were looking for the Candid Camera] Uh, I think that’s really weird. Like totally weird.

Shelley and I both laughed and agreed that it was not typical, while I secretly thought that Wrong Verbs Waitress could have benefited from a relationship with a good English teacher.

So, that's what I've been doing here lately. I've been out to lunch with the formers. Eh, it's better than hanging with reformers, transformers, or ex-cons.

Slightly better. :)

Enjoy the pictures I took at Shelley's place. :)


  1. Yes. I've made the blog twice, or is that three times? Regardless...I've made the blog :)

  2. As always, you crack me up. Especially the part about Wrong Verbs Waitress needing a relationship with a former English teacher. Evidently she didn't have a teacher like you!

    I was one of those students who went back to visit old English teachers. Not sure what that says about me? Brown-noser? Goody-two-shoes?

  3. Hey that is how my high school looked before one of my classmates burned part of it down! I love old buildings that actually look like schools and not prisons! Ha ha...sounds like you had a good visit! Lori

  4. Gangsta Chick Lit? Hilarious!

    What helped you grow up and mature after college? I'd like to know...

    If you write about it, drop me a comment, okay? So I don't miss it...

  5. I think imagine intellectual romance goes something like this:

    Girl: What do you do
    Guy: [Nerd lingo]. You?
    Girl: [Geek jargon]
    Guy: [sarcastic comment]
    Girl: [witty comeback]
    Guy & Girl: [Thought bubble: I've never had a guy/girl abuse me with words like this - I must be in love.]

    P.S. I'll be in town near mid-August. Would you like to get lunch sometime? We should bring Wingate along too! Perhaps margaritas and tacos? I guess we can discuss food later. I might forget by then so please call me at 770.596.1522. Hope you're doing well!