One of my university students from 2015 helped the men’s golf team capture the Division II title last weekend.  It was my husband who caught the sports news and told me.  Over the years, I have had several athletes in my English classes.  Also, I have had athletes as part of the Bridge Program who were recruited for the tennis teams, cross country running, lacrosse.  They came from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, France, Germany.  They were delightful students:  hardworking and conscientious.

I actually kept a letter from this particular student because I enjoyed reading it.  He was assigned to a low level remedial English class which focused on review of grammar forms and academic writing.  It was my first time teaching this class and I had some difficulty with the class.  Several of the students didn’t believe they belonged in the class and were challenging to work with.  At the end of the semester, I asked them to write me a letter focusing on what they felt they improved during my class and what they didn’t think they needed.  Needless to say, one of the female students who didn’t want to be in the class wrote me a very negative letter.  All semester, she had rolled her eyes, huffed, and giggled with her cronies over my class.  Since it was an early morning class, her behavior was challenging.  About the only thing she enjoyed hearing about was that my husband and I owned a cupcakerie.  I guess she googled me and this came up.  Needless to say, I made it clear that cupcakes were not to be expected in the grammar class.

Anyway, I kept his letter that he wrote about because  it was heart felt.  He wrote about being from Montreal and his first language was French.  He also wrote about being part of the golf team and how they finished the semester as number 2 but for the next semester, they wanted to do better. He continued that he had the chance to be part of the national team in Canada and travel the world and play in the biggest tournament in the world. His concluding paragraph states that he learned a lot in the class about grammar stuff in English and how to apply it when he wrote essays.  He felt more motivated to be in a class with an instructor to complete the writing because I had explained all the problems he had.  I was helpful with him.

I guess that letter meant a lot to me because I kept it.  There are times when you doubt yourself with a new class or a challenging semester.  This was the first semester (Fall 2015) after my husband was diagnosed with cancer.  I was still teaching at the University Campus and helping with Cupcake Cache.  I actually doubted everything and wanted to run away sometimes.  I certainly didn’t want to let anyone know anything about our business, my husband, or my challenging times.

I have had golf players and athletes before in my class and I am always impressed that the most humble and sometimes the most silent of them are the best students.  They take it all in stride and play no sides.  And so my philosophy for the day is to remember this lesson when it comes to the elections in November.  I truly believe that we must observe carefully the actions of the opponents instead of their words.  Anyone is possible of saying anything and anything stated can be misconstrued but I think we should look at what they have accomplished and what they will do for us as a country.  And that is all for my philosophy today.

I don’t remember the name of this student who gave me so much difficulty with her resistance to learning but I do remember the name of the athlete who went on to win some glory and will most likely continue on a successful path.

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