Earlier this month, a former student sent an e-mail to Quay County Sun in an effort to contact her English teacher. Joyce Vines Fisler did not realize that teacher is totally illiterate in the internet world but hoped someone at the newspaper office would know how to reach me. Fortunately, that e-mail was turned into a “hard copy,” a real letter on real paper and handed to me.
Joyce was last in my THS English class in 1961 and decided she wanted to do a little visiting after all these years. She made many kind remarks about this aging teacher, letting me know she still remembered some of our class times together. She then filled in a few blanks about her life since and certainly showed that she had not forgotten how to write well.
Because she assumed I could send her a return e-mail, she didn’t include her return address for “snail” mail. After asking several of my computer expert friends to find her home address and learning how difficult that must be, I decided to do the old-fashioned trick of picking up the telephone, dialing information, and then dialing Joyce at her home. We then spent almost an hour visiting and learning more about each other. We did much laughing as we recalled earlier days and talked about later experiences. She then gave me her mailing address because I wanted to answer her letter.
Although she had said in her e-mail that she wasn’t trying to strike up a regular correspondence, she and I both decided after our visit that we should remain in touch. We can both use our phones, and she can print her next letter to be sent to my corner. We talked about the possibility of her attending Rattler Reunion, and she seemed interested as she heard more about it. Just maybe we will be able to see each other after all these years.
As you have learned, my students are most definitely among my favorite people and make me very proud of having played a small part in their lives. Many of them have become good friends and have made me feel secure in their company. Some have given me the chance to tell them personally how privileged I was to have them in class and now to have them as friends, and I hope all realize just how much they mean to me.
Because we teachers seldom know what effect we had on those students, we are pleased to hear from them. Although I don’t always recognize each student because we haven’t seen each other in 50 years or so, I usually remember them quite well once they tell me their names. We have both changed just a bit during the years and need a minute or two to try to see that younger person under the character lines and the white hair. We can then renew our conversations as if we had been together yesterday. Yes, a teacher’s life is a wonderful life!
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun at 461-1952.