Friday, May 15, 2009
Last summer I heard about all the hoopla about Facebook, so I checked it out. I established my page and it wasn't too long before I heard from a former math student of mine. We chatted and laughed about old times. Then other students found me. Then business associates. Then friends from church. And kids I grew up with. Even my sister (who's not computer savvy) joined. (In the pic at left are Nicole Ciner Baker, Jack Jernigan, and Tina Gilreath Pollard. Nicole and Tina were in my math class my first year of teaching in 1985.)
Never a substitute for interpersonal relationships, Facebook has become "connection central" for so many. It's wonderful to reconnect with other people, rekindling old relationships, and to find new ones. I have been blessed.
Probably one of the greatest blessings from Facebook has been reconnecting with former students. As a young, first-year teacher at New Kent High School near Richmond, Virginia, I had a desperate need to succeed. Being 23 with an 18-year-old appearance didn't help me to convey the serious demeanor I tried to possess.
A few months ago I received a Facebook invite to a New Kent High School Facebook Reunion at The Tobacco Company in Richmond. I was the only teacher there. It was great to see Tina, Karen, Stuart, Jeff, Shelly, Nicole, Wendy, Donna, and other students I taught in Math class. Tina loves to tell the story about her last day of her senior year. She had been late so many times that I sent her to In School Suspension (ISS) to serve out her sentence. We laughed and laughed about that. And we're still laughing about it.
Yes, those were good times. And while it's been great to enjoy reconnecting with people on Facebook, I enjoy the people I connect with every day. My family, friends and clients mean the world to me. You all are very special and I'm glad I know you. I'm also glad that you impact my life in so many positive ways. For this, I am very grateful.