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2:32 p.m. - August 29, 2004
Jeff, you made me smile
Spent more money than I anticipated on a dishwasher but I like the aesthetics of stainless steel. Highlight of the foray was being assisted by a former student of mine who is midway through his B.A. degree. I had him for one year, American Sign Language 1, and he is majoring in ASL studies now, 5 years later. I did that; I made an impression on him. I don't think teachers desire acolytes but we do want some degree of validation that the effort was recognized. It was immensely gratifying to hear his goals and plans (teacher of the Deaf or interpreter) and think back to the first day of class when he announced he was taking ASL because it was easier than Spanish . . . and how a week later he made another announcement apologizing for his foolishness. His girlfriend is Deaf and his parents are learning ASL and frankly, I was touched.

Lately there's been a string of former students appearing from beyond and with each there is the lingering thought, Why not go back? to teaching ASL and English, or French or German. Thinking about returning to a job I love and consider my birthright and destiny, my heart beats and I quickly envision department meetings, serving as mentor, and designing cheat-proof tests, all with the goal of teaching material they will keep with them for life and will hopefully have some impact. And then as quickly, I recall Daniel, the gay Mormon student, and the overwhelming failure comes back. Does failing one outweigh the successes of others?

It is ingrained: What happened to him was my fault.

I'm a damn good teacher, whether it's high school or university. I can repeat that until it's a mindless series of syllables but still, still, I wouldn't believe it.

Stubborn that way.


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