Monday evening I had the double-whammy-pleasure of being reminded that sometimes I do make a difference in my students' lives.
First, here's S. Mara Faulkner, one of my own former instructors who shaped my future and still means the world to me.
|Mara Faulkner, OSB, instructor, mentor, friend|
When I got home from the launch party, I found another such moment waiting for me in my inbox. Below is the text of the email (with permission from the writer, of course). For clarity's sake Governor's School is a summer program for rising high school seniors. Students live in dorms at a local college and experience college-level classes while meeting new peers from all over the state.
My name is John Andrews and in 2005 you taught my creative writing workshop at Arkansas Governor's School (I was the guy that journal-ed all the time). Since then I've graduated from UCA (BA in Writing - Spring 10) and am now working on my MFA in Poetry at Texas State (just started this Fall) and cannot thank you enough for putting the MFA seed in my head!
The serendipity of today was that a friend suggested I read your book, they said "you know, you kind of write in the same style of this poet.... I think you'd like her." Kind of blew my mind. So I found your blog and thought to touch base with you and thank you for inspiring me in 2005, and now!
Thank you, more then you know,
PS I can't put Blood Almanac down and remember you reading "Lover, Say Prairie" to us in class.
It may seem like I'm calling attention to myself by posting about these two experiences, but that is not my intention. Both events just made me so darned happy that I feel like I must share the joy. And for all of those fellow teachers / instructors out there...we really can make an impact on our students' lives. Every once in a while we get the gift of knowing that for sure.
Thanks to all of my students past and present for making my life the fuller for knowing you all.