About Me

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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Retirement Roast and a Soothing Balm

Since my rant yesterday, I decided to re-post something a bit gentler. This is a letter I wrote to one of the most wonderful (and there were many of them) groups of students I have ever taught. I had forgotten about it until three young men, now successful in their careers, showed up at my retirement party. This is me being roasted...

One of them brought the letter with him and read it. He says he carries it with him all the time. His bringing that letter that night and reading it means more to me than any other laud or honor I have ever experienced. This is Dustin speaking at my retirement. The rest of us were crying.

And the letter he read...

Dear Ones,

As You leave me, forgive my faults, recognize my strengths (and maybe take some of them with you), and know that at least one other person on earth (besides your parents) recognizes how unique and special you are.

Forgive my proselytizing just one more time.

1. Learn to listen to and trust your own instincts. You are wiser than you know.
2. NO ONE tells you you cannot accomplish your goals. You are the greatest determiner of your destiny.
3. Don’t fret about stuff after the sun has gone down. In the dark, our perspective is substantially limited. After a good night’s sleep, and in the light of day, you can handle your problems better.
4. Feeling sad occasionally is normal; all the time is not. Get help.
5. Surround yourself with positive people who respect themselves, respect you,and who like to laugh and get silly. Avoid toxic, complaining, negative people; they’ll zap your strength.
6. Unfortunately, in this world there is guilt by association. Probably of more importance is the unintentional handing over of our power to others. Choose your friends carefully and remember, “If you lay down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas!”
7. Commit daily kindnesses for the Heaven of it.
8. If you can talk, you can sing; if you can walk, you can dance. I hope you sing and dance much through this life.

I am honored to have been your teacher.


Purple Flowers said...

Well, you've made me cry. That is simply beautiful, and I don't blame that young man for carrying it with him everyday. It's become part of who he is now.

Lena said...

Made me cry, too. Beautiful. How lucky your students were to have you.


You have some amazing gift..all your students must be so lucky!!
what a wonderful roast and touching teacher tale. :)

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

How lucky your students were to have you! I'm sure that you made a positive difference in their lives. Your words are so true and are applicable to us all. You should be very proud of your contribution to our youth.

Dear Liza said...

Seriously, this made me cry. So much of what you wrote is what I have said to my own children many, many times, but never in such a neat little package. I ask your permission to use this...never have truer words been spoken. You are pretty special, and you already know that, right?

Hope your day has been wonderful. Thank you for this post. Hugs. Jamie :)

Gin said...

Kathy, you must have been an amazing teacher. What lucky students!! And how thoughtful of you to write them such a wisdom-filled letter!

Brad said...

I think we should all work from age 13 to 19. Start highschool when we're 20, so we're mature enough to truely benefit from teachers like you.