September 14, 2011

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A while back I wrote that one of the frustrations with being a teacher is to watch students graduate and never hear from them again. Recently, however, I was allowed to read a few more chapters from their lives when I attended the 45-year reunion of the high school class of 1966. Many of them I’d been privileged to teach from their sophomore to their senior year.   

Most of them had become professionals – lawyers, college professors, artists and even an airline pilot. Each of them is making a positive contribution to society.     

A few have actually wandered into literary ventures — far too few to make an English teacher happy. One has become an editor and two have published books. Today, I want to give the two authors a boost for their works.

Christie (Bayless) Gorsline has written a memoir about the six years she lived on a fiberglass boat, sailing the wide oceans with her husband and facing down whales, sharks and storms with an engine that needed constant repair. The book has been awarded the Independent Publisher’s gold seal and though I’m only half way through her adventure, I can recommend “Empty Nest to Life Vest” as a compelling story anyone would enjoy reading. 

The second book, by Susan Stoner, is “Land Shark. Susan works in the Labor Movement and her collection of stories is “…an easy read that painlessly conveys a bit of local and class history.”  I haven’t read the book yet because it’s on order, but all you history buffs out there please take note.

I’m proud of my former students — the lawyers, the artists, the book editors, the airline pilot, the college professors, entrepreneurs and homemakers — all of them and their divergent paths. Knowing their good works, I wonder why the world gets into the trouble it does. I haven’t found an answer to that question, but I can say that one day I hope to get another chance to read more chapters from their lives.