Who would have thought that Simone and I would hang out together? Well, that is exactly what we did. After an appointment, we went to a cosy Mexican spot for brunch. This is the first time we are sitting together to talk about things unrelated to English Literature. We do not discuss the complete works of Shakespeare or any West Indian short stories. Now, I am telling Simone about my personal and professional aspirations and I am listening as she shares her experience and imparts wisdom to me.
Before our hang, I have always said “Ms. Rodney”, to refer to Simone but today she tells me this makes her feel old and calling her ‘Simone’ or ‘Roddo’ would be a nice, informal fit. I laugh and say Simone but ever so often, Ms. Rodney comes naturally. I am still her student and she will always remain my teacher. Except now, everything is taking place beyond the classroom. As we walk along Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn peeping into the busy stores we don’t even bother entering, there is a realization for both of us. Oh, how time changes everything.
During my vacation too, I attend a family gathering of a friend whose older sister is another of my teachers. On this occasion, my teacher and I converse hours on end about personal and professional experiences and aspirations. We do not discuss Ph balance, enzymes or any scientific experiment. We raise our glasses and toast to matters unrelated to Integrated Science. For a brief moment, I remember when I had failed her subject miserably but this is short-lived by the overpowering aroma of barbecue chicken and other Guyanese cuisines we are both unable to resist.
These two phenomenal women and every teacher I have had have taught me valuable lessons that have stayed with me beyond the classroom. Their lessons have helped me navigate the maze of adulthood, form a different- more realistic to say the least– perspective of life and I am forever grateful. It has been a pleasure too, at brunch and dinner, to share with them some of the lessons I have since learned beyond the classroom. Oh, how time changes everything.
Learning. Being. Becoming.