Thursday, December 22, 2011
Holiday cards, former students . . . and The Circle of Life
I'm one of those tree-killing, self-indulgent people who imagines that sending out 3"X 7" Christmas cards with "smiling family in front of the year's best backdrop" pictures is actually a welcome and meaningful way of maintaining relationships with friends and aquaintances, old and new. Facebook, twitter, e-mail, postage-hikes, and increased environmental awareness notwithstanding . . . I can't stop.
This year, I was particularly struck by the fact that some of the similar (though, of course, more tasteful and engaging) cards I received from former students revealed that, well, they are doing really interesting things, forming and nurturing growing families, and maybe (like me) aging a bit.
I worry that this sounds patronizing, and I hope it doesn't. The point is not, "Awww, the little dears!" Instead, for me, there's something, well, nice about being reminded that these former students of mine, who have become my friends, are closer, in a way; they have joined me in the business -- the vocation -- of integrating life, work, family, community. Once, I was (or, I tried to be) their teacher; now, we are in this together. I know this sounds awfully Lion King / Circle-of-Life-ish but . . . oh well. Happy Hol(y)days.
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