Wednesday, June 5, 2013

365 Inspirations—156: Endings and Beginnings

With some of my students this quarter
“All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.”—Mitch Albom

Another quarter is almost over. In the  almost seven years I've been teaching ESL at a community college in the area, I've seen hundreds of students come and go. Sometimes I see them in the hallway a year later and many of them say, "Teacher, do you remember me? I was in your class last fall."

 I usually remember their faces, but remembering hundreds of names is another thing. There is something about a face I can never forget and I try to remember their names after they've come and gone, but I often have to be reminded. I will say that while they are studying with me in any given quarter, I'm very quick to have ALL of their names memorized within one week of classes! I can have up to 100 students in any given quarter, so that's pretty good. I have to put their faces, names and something about their personality all together.  Every single one of my students has something unique and memorable about them.

Sometimes I can have up to 20 nationalities in one class. This quarter I had students from Gambia, Madagascar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Guatamala, Brazil, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Russia, Ukraine, Korea, China, Taiwan, Israel, Morocco and the list goes on....

I sometimes forget how rewarding my job is. I've done it for so long that it is kind of second nature. I'm often so touched by the stories my students tell me about their cultures and about their lives. We all learn from each other.

Now that quarter is almost over, I realize that the time we spent together was important and precious. During the quarter, when things are busy and I'm checking papers, preparing lesson plans and helping students, I can forget how wonderful it is to do what I do. It is only when I reflect on our time together that I'm reminded of how lucky I am.

So another quarter is over, but there is another one beginning soon. I'll finish this quarter on June 12th and I'll start teaching summer quarter on July 1st! Another beginning!

Speaking of beginnings, today my best friend gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, but it is not her baby. She decided to be a surrogate mother for a friend who is unable to have her own children. What a joy it was to hold this child on the second day of his life today! So fresh and new to the world! I'm proud of my friend for her selfless act of kindness. She is an inspiration. Here's a link to the post I wrote about her.

Have you had any memorable endings or beginnings recently?


  1. I have had a memorable beginning lately - a new relationship than began in late December and has only gotten better :)

    1. Congratulations! So glad you are in a happy, new relationship Keith!

  2. I feel that is one of the most selfless acts a woman can do. I have a big smile on my face.

  3. Your job looks so fun! I feel like your classes would be so much fun for the students. :) Your writing continues to inspire me!