I'm out for dinner Sunday with an out-of-town friend I haven't seen in years. "Hey, Mr. Rozinsky," a voice says from next to our table. It belongs to a fellow diner who also happens to be a student I taught in sixth grade, now well into his college education.
Monday morning, I'm wiping down classroom desks to remove lingering dry-erase residue. I flash back to when I was in sixth grade, and my math teacher would so obsessively disinfect her space that it forever reeked of Lysol.
After desk duty, I'm moonlighting as a doorstop outside my classroom when an eight grader I taught two years ago walks past on his way to first period. In tones of mock incredulity, he's saying to another student, "This is what happens when I care about something: I actually put something into it." Sounds about right, based on how I remember him.