Oh my god, you guys. I am going to cry. Yep, there I go. Crying, just a little.
Remember this, the apocryphal (and yet true) story of when the defender in me sprang to life? My 6th grade teacher was always my favorite, anyway. He would release us each individually at the end of the day after making sure our desks were neat. For the first kid, he would say, "Okay, Mark, you can go." Then it would get a little more casual, "Ok, Alice." And then, "K." For me, he always said, "Que Sera Sera." Of course he could say that to me and know that I knew the reference. (Yes, by the age of 11, I had seen "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and knew the song quite well.)
But the story of "To Kill a Mockingbird" is the real reason I've always remembered him more fondly than any other teacher.
And tonight, I got to tell him that story! Facebook to Facebook! About a year ago, I found an old friend from elementary school. Just about 10 minutes ago, she posted that she just got to chat with her favorite elementary school teacher. So I asked where she found him, and he responded! With a friend request! Yes, that's a lot of exclamation points. I'm pretty excited about this. So sue me.
It has always bugged me somewhere in the back of my brain that someone helped me find my true purpose but had no idea how key a role he'd played. And what teacher doesn't want to hear from the students who still feel that influence even 30 years later? (No, 29!)
The start to this year has been rough, professionally. Public defenders have been taking a lot of crap. I've been feeling beat down, hopeless, defeated, basically all the pessimistic, bad feelings you can think of. I have needed something good. The time change has already helped improve my mood with that extra hour of sunlight after work. (I definitely need the light after work, not in the morning. Sorry for those of you who hate it, but springing forward in March is critical for me.) And now I got to tell my favorite teacher just how amazing he was. That's a pretty good start to a turnaround. I hope.
Now excuse me while I go purge my Facebook of all the things I would hate for my favorite grade school teacher to know about adult Sarah...