Today, I met with my former student, Michael, who is currently a sophomore at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He wrote me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I’d be in town during his spring break. Luckily, I was and we agreed to meet at Century City Mall where we had lunch, then a walk, then coffee, all the while talking, talking, talking.
I began seeing Michael in high school to help him bolster his already strong writing skills and then became his college essay coach his senior year. He and I bonded quickly when we first met but became even closer as we worked through the myriad of essays required for all the colleges he was applying to. We have stayed in touch over the past couple of years, but, of course, due to Covid, have not been able to see each other. That all changed today.
Michael is open, loving, and kind and he and I can talk about a whole range of subjects from religion to instant pots and everything in-between. He was quick to tell me how much he had missed me and I could say the same without a second’s hesitation. We talked about how hard it was to start college in the midst of Covid and how over the past two semesters he has earned straight A’s, making him an Angell Scholar at U. Michigan. He told me about the friends he made and some of the challenges he has faced. He then said, “Now that I’ve told you all about me, you tell me how you’ve been.”
While I tend to have a good relationship with all of my writing students, there are a handful who remain close even after our weekly sessions have ended. Michael is among them and I am so happy to have gotten the chance to spend some quality time with him today. Tomorrow he heads back to school. We planned another rendezvous for the summer.
How lucky I am to have the opportunity to maintain such sweet relationships with my students. This is one of the best parts of my work, having the chance to get to know my students well enough to truly bond.
Here’s a photo of Michael. He had his 20th birthday in November.