Yesterday I made a quick stop at Holy Land on my way home from work for some groceries. While in the checkout line, I realized that a learner that had previously been in my class was checking out in front of me. She noticed me; we said hello, and then she asked, “Do you remember where I am from?” I answered, “Of course, from school!” Her eyes brightened, and she told me that I had a good memory. The cashier finished ringing her up, we exchanged goodbyes, and she hurried off outside into the snow.
Though the entire exchange lasted under a minute, our brief conversation proved to be thought provoking. Since I only see my students in the context of the classroom, it’s easy to forget that they live and work in my community. It was wonderful to see a familiar face from class in the rhythm of my everyday life. Clearly she had been touched that I remembered her, but the feeling was mutual. I couldn’t help but think about how different community life would be if more people had the chance to interact with immigrant and refugee populations or even just their neighbors in general.
Our class has a few weeks off until the end of the year. While the extra time in my schedule is welcome at this time of the year, I do miss the learners. Happy holidays!