Friday, September 04, 2009

Meet Marion Anderson

Not that Marion Anderson. This Mrs. Anderson was the principal of my elementary school from Grade One to Grade Six. She was (probably still is) a great artist and encourager of children's talent. She, along with the school librarian, team taught Grade Six as well. Do I have powerful memories of Mrs. Anderson? Not really. She was strict, but fair, as most teachers were. She had a dark office with a large walnut desk and a leather strap on the wall. She used it, but never on me. Her husband Don was a farmer and drove a school bus, but not the one I rode.

At the end of July, this newspaper clipping showed up in my mail, with a little note from my mother. "Mrs. Anderson is 90. She still looks the same, doesn't she? It would be nice if you sent her a card." For a few weeks the note and picture sat on my kitchen counter, a tiny little mom with her hands on her hips, toe tapping. Occasionally she'd bring it up when we talked on the phone.

I don't know what my problem was, except maybe I resist being told what to do. Eventually, I got over myself and did the nice thing. I dug a notecard out of the drawerful I have, and sent Mrs. Anderson a short note - a reminiscence of grade school and best wishes on the occasion of her momentous birthday written inside a card featuring the art of our elementary school students. I thought she'd get a kick out of that. I guess she did, she called mom a week or so later to express her delight that a former student had made the effort to send a card.


Greg said...

That was very nice of you. If we all took a few minutes out of our day and sent a card to someone in our past or present (or even future), just to say "hi, I'm thinking of you" I believe the world would be a much better place. You get extra quilting points for that.. Have a great day, and yes, Hi! I'm thinking about you.

Zazzu said...

That woman is 90? She looks amazing.

Agreeing w/Greg here...I wish letter and note writing wasn't so much of a lost art (thumps cane). I love getting handwritten notes. I got one yesterday as a thanks for a baby quilt and it TOTALLY made my day.

What does "Best wishes only, please" mean? As if someone would send bad wishes? Strange that they added that.

Warty Mammal said...

Bless you.

I often wonder about the lot of teachers, pouring out energy and attention and never really seeing the end result. It must be nice when they occasionally hear from a former student.