Yesterday I felt like I'd been paid the highest compliment when 6 of my former students gathered in my home for a few hours. 6 beautiful young ladies, all grown up and starting families of their own!
15 years ago I held an English class for 7 junior high school girls. None of them were particularly good in English and they were more interested in laughing and being silly. I had to scold sometimes, took away their pocket bells (before cell phones!!), I sent one girl home even. We made cookies together at times and played games. One girl didn't like cats and I remember comforting her while she sobbed after a cat jumped on her lap. Towards the end I was quite glad when the girls stopped coming for English. They were developing attitude problems and I decided around that time that I would no longer teach junior high students.
For 15 years I barely had contact with any of the girls except for the one who lives across the street from me. I heard that so-and-so had gotten married, so-and-so had a baby, but I didn't think much about them and they never thought about me.
Not too long ago, out of the blue, one girl called me asking if she could visit. One thing led to another and yesterday 6 of the girls showed up, two leading youngsters! We called the last girl who is married and lives in another prefecture and included her in the festivities too. The girls brought cakes and crackers. I served peanut butter cookies and was tickled to hear them exclaiming about how good the cookies were, how they remember filling my tiny kitchen to make cookies. The cookies went away quickly!
It was fun for everyone. The 6 girls have never gotten together like yesterday and they exchanged a lot of stories. 6 girls are married (the one single girl got a lot of advice on choosing a husband!). Actually one girl has been married and divorced twice! 5 of the girls have babies and little children! Two girls are very annoyed at their husbands right now who do so little child care... Oh dear... I hope the complaints are not serious... One girl has only been married 6 months and can hardly bear to be away from her hubby.
I was asked for advice on how to keep a loving husband and wife relationship after SOOOO many years (Tetsu and I must look ancient!) A couple girls wistfully talked about how they could be better students if they studied English now. A couple of girls focused on the patchwork (which was on my walls even 15 years ago. "Teacher, why do you have blankets on your walls?") and wondered if they'd have the patience to make something like it for their children someday.
After three hours everyone trooped out the front door not unlike 15 years ago (I noticed that they've all learned to leave their shoes neatly in the entry... now boots and high heels! When they were junior high students every week their shoes were thrown about every which way!)
Promises to get together again... maybe for the single girl's wedding hopefully someday soon?
How pleased I am to know that the girls have fond memories of English time and haven't forgotten me after all!