Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nineteen Years in College

Out of the blue came an invitation from a former student--oh, so long ago, 10 years?--Carol Wibbenmeyer, to her university graduation bash, and bringing a congratulations card I stopped by (having two other events to attend that same afternoon), found the pavilion in the park and there she was, having taken 19 years of night classes to earn her degree in English, 45 years after high-school graduation. Born in Perryville, Carol had lived with her husband and kids nearly 50 years in Manchester, and had written a short autobiography I'm holding, titled "Life's Plan in a Red Dress," and gave me a copy, and it was just too fun not to show you our photo.

The booklet says that at her funeral she wants to be viewed in a red dress, but after the viewing she wants the mortician to change her into a pantsuit and comfortable shoes. "I don't want to go through eternity in a dress. That is just not me," Carol wrote. The mortician said she should put that instruction in her will. Her practical husband says she should have the pants on underneath the dress; "that way she will be prepared for any occasion." Her funeral won't be anytime soon. You didn't know I taught college? For 31 years. I've had hundreds of students. I'm retiring from teaching in June.

The greatest honor a teacher can have is a student who remembers her.

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