Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It had to happen

Years ago I was constantly asked why I didn't have a MySpace page. (Yeah, I'm feeling nice tonight.) It was quite simple. I was teaching and most of my students had pages. While I was pretty honest with my students -- because that's just who I am -- I also felt that there were parts of my personal life that did not need to be known to them.

And so last night the inevitable occurred. I received a friend request on Facebook from a former student. I know that it was not due to a name search because I have a frightfully common name. She located me by my email address.

Several of my former students know my email address because they would send me assignments that way. Many had computers with no printers. As a result over the years, I have received the random emails where they let me know what is going on in their lives. And I really like getting these updates.

I'm just not sure if I'm ready to be friends with my former students on Facebook at this time. Sure I'm friends with one of my teachers. But I graduated from high school 25 years ago. This young woman just graduated a year ago. And being friends on Facebook is so much different than when I went back to visit my old English teacher during my freshman and sophomore years of college. Like I didn't know that she had run a random name generator to come up with her stripper name. Then again, my students did know that I like to party -- within limits. As in no partying on a school night. OK. There was that one slip up. But I was at work on time. Albeit a bit dressier than I normally would have been...

My solution was to send her a message. And tonight she responded. She's graduated and is still attending school. Hey. This is a big thing for that neighborhood. So for now, I think I'll leave things at the corresponding level. Because I really want to know what she's doing. And I also want to be her sounding board in the future if she finds that she needs one.

And all of this has made me remember that my first group of students will be graduating from high school this year. I showed up for their eighth grade promotion. Hmmmmm. I'm thinking that I may have to wrangle some tickets for various high school promotions in a few months.


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