Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

You Never Forget The Good Ones

, , , , , , , , , | Learning | August 9, 2022

My grandmother retired as a kindergarten teacher back in the early 1980s, just before I was born. Now, she was ninety-four, and I was accompanying her to the neighbourhood doctor for a general check-up/visit. The doctor is also a family friend, thus the visit was more “friendly” than “medical” and without an appointment; hence, the doctor typically lets her sit in the waiting room until he’s free enough to have a long chat with her, while also checking her medical issues out.

This time around, there were quite a few people in the waiting room, so Grandma was just chilling, reading a magazine she’d brought along. A gentleman, probably in his mid-fifties, kept staring at her. He finally mustered the courage to speak to her.

Gentleman: “Are you [Grandma]?”

Grandma: “Yes, I am.”

The gentleman turned to his wife sitting next to him.

Gentleman: “[Grandma] was my schoolteacher!”

Grandma explained that she would have taught him in kindergarten. Everyone was pretty surprised at the recollection; it would have been nearly forty-five years, if not more, for the gent to have been in her class. Upon hearing his name, Grandma shocked everyone by recollecting his childhood nickname — one that he himself had forgotten!

A second gentleman walked into the clinic, and the first immediately pointed Grandma out to him; they were classmates, so he, too, would have been in her class. He was leaving the doctor’s cabin as Grandma was called in, so he happily pointed out to the doctor that she was his teacher. Even the doctor was surprised at the happy reunions.

Later, when we left, a third gentleman, younger than the previous two, entered the clinic. He saw Grandma and immediately bent down to touch her feet. Touching an elder’s feet is considered a mark of respect in Indian culture, a method of asking for and receiving their blessings. On inquiry, he revealed that he had been her student in the early 1980s, probably from the last batch she taught before retiring.

The school where Grandma taught, our old neighbourhood, and the doctor’s clinic are all on the same block, so whenever she’s visiting the doctor or any of our old friends and neighbours, we usually bump into a few of her kindergarten students on the road. All of them — many of them now grandparents themselves — walk up to her and spend a few minutes chatting with her.

I always marvel at such student-teacher relationships: relationships that began at the beginning of the students’ childhood, still as impactful decades later; relationships that transcend generations; relationships that are still in force even after your kids have grown up and their kids are in the same classroom where you were once. It’s heartening, giving me hope for the future.

Question of the Week

What is the most wholesome experience you’ve ever had?

I have a story to share!