Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yesterday I went to a funeral

It was for my former 3rd Grade teacher who after I graduated from the 8th Grade eventually became principal of my old elementary school.

I had started going back to my old elementary school starting in October, and I had no idea she was still there. These are for LSC meetings as I just wanted see these bodies in action in my capacity for The Sixth Ward.

The meeting was supposed to start at 4 PM but it was 4:32 when it was convened. A little before that the principal comes in and welcomes me as if, I was just a simple visitor. Now that she's passed away, now I really get a kick out of this.

She remembered me. Didn't really have to say anything to jump-start her memory much. My name came out without an assist from me. She intuitively picked up that I was one of her former students. And we had a nice chat told her I graduated from college a year before that. We talked about Bennett-Shedd and what's happened since I left. She really got a kick out of telling the LSC a little about me. Near the end of that meeting she took down my name and number to call me about returning in a volunteer capacity.

Let me see, I hadn't visited the "sacred halls of Bennett" since 1997 when I was in high school. In fact it was maybe not long after that when I saw her at a local shopping mall so it was over a decade since I last saw her. So in approximate 10 years which is long enough to forget about someone although for many it doesn't take that long. And it came back like who knows what.

My only disappointment was that I didn't take advantage of her years and years of experience in the trenches of Chicago's public schools. It would've been nice to pick her brain on issues that I've had in mind such as why young black men aren't excited about going to school. Even why they aren't going to college. Didn't realize my second Bennett-Shedd LSC meeting was going to be the last with her.

A lot of people are going to miss Principal Barbara Ellis.

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