This story has nothing to do with clay, but it’s a nice story and it makes me happy.
I work at a community studio only about 5 miles, but 2 towns away, from my house. I was there today, checking on a firing. The studio is in a small neighborhood park. Sometimes people visiting the park knock on the door to ask to borrow the key to the bathroom in the building. One of the knocks was so light, I first thought it was a basketball hitting the wall outside. When I went to the door to check, I saw a tall young man with a big pit-mix dog. He didn’t say anything for a minute – just stared at me. Just as I thought it might be a good idea to just close the door, he took a step back and said, “Ms Edwards?”
In my most recent previous life, I taught at a public elementary school where I was known as Ms. Edwards. I usually recognize the students that were in my class. I searched my memory banks and did a reverse age progression program on the face and came up blank. Then he smiled at me and I remembered a 6 year old with an anxious, tentative smile – the same one he still had.
He hadn’t been in my class, but his 2 cousins had been. They were memorable because neither one of them could sit still for an instant. The girl was quiet but she would spin in place whether sitting or standing. The next year the boy was not only in constant motion physically, he also had to talk every minute. They were always in trouble at recess. Neither one of them was ever still long enough to complete a task. I think hyperactivity disorder can be an overused diagnosis, but clearly described these half-siblings.
They lived with their great-grandmother, who was in poor health. They were endearing kids but had so many challenges, I worried about what was to become of them. A new half-sibling would be dropped off for the great-grandmother to raise every year or two. Last I heard she was had 6 of her granddaughter’s children.
I got great news. My former students both go to SF State college, live at home and take care of their very ill great-grandmother and their younger siblings. Justin, my visitor today, is going to a community college and living near the studio with some roommates and this dog he just adopted. He is 18, and doesn’t know if he should study music theory -his first choice- or nursing – so he can get a job.