Why do I so deeply enjoy helping kids who are no longer my students? I mean, it’s more work for me, right? And it’s not like I already don’t have enough to do. But still, when former kids come in and ask me for stuff, I always try and help them out — and I do it happily.
I guess it’s because I like to see them. I mean we build such close relationships over the course of a year and then, once summer hits, we all disperse into a thousand different directions. That feels normal. But when the school year starts back up again, I miss those relationships. I miss those kids. And they grow so much — and change and get taller, and lose their braces and so on, it’s just nice to see. My students, well, in a way it’s like each of them is a story in progress and I always want to know more about how things are unfolding in their lives. And of course, when things are going well for them, I am glad to see it.
Yet often I don’t see former students when things are going well for them. More often I see former kids when they need something.
Some need a schedule change. Some need to chat about something personal. Some need advice, a smile or someone to talk college football with. (GO USC TROJANS!) And some just need to feel a real connection with a real adult on campus.
I guess I live in perpetual empty nest syndrome. “How come you don’t call? You don’t write?” I become like a nagging mother with kids that have gone off to college and only touch base when needs arise.
And the thing is, I’ll take it… cause it’s better than nothing.