Sometimes we are lucky enough to have someone in our lives with whom we share a whole host of connections. Sometimes we are lucky enough to know and spend time with someone who checks all sorts of boxes.
I have a friend like this, and our first and most obvious connection is our shared first name.
We are both Lisas.
She is a former colleague. When she retired, I was lucky enough to assume some parts of her work. I’d never claim to have stepped into her shoes though. That simply wouldn’t be possible. For many years she was Lisa, and I was Lisa K. She’s retired now, but I’ll never be just Lisa. I’m still Lisa K.
Lisa- all by itself- that name is reserved for her.
Sometimes she just calls me by my last name, Keeler. Sometimes others do too. Even now. And that is just fine.
She is a mentor.
She was my daughter’s teacher.
She is a confidante.
She is a listener.
She is a jokester.
She is a reader.
She is a traveler.
She is a carer. A carer extraordinaire.
She is a legend.
She is loved. Loved by former students, loved by former parents, loved by former colleagues, loved by her family and friends.
And now, she is sick. She doesn’t look sick, or act sick, or even feel particularly sick she says. But she is. And it is all about to get very, very real for her.
Today I can’t write a true Slice of Life, or a small moment story. I can only write about a serious situation and Lisa.
If there is a silver lining in here, it is the reminder that sometimes we teachers need to meet our young writers where they are and let them write about what is consuming their brains or pressing on their hearts, even if it has nothing, nothing at all to do with the unit of study we are currently moving through in our workshops. If Lisa were still teaching she’d be the first to remind me, and all of us who know and love her, about that.
Thank you Two Writing Teachers for the weekly nudge to write, share, and connect with other teachers of writers.