Despite all the time I’ve wasted scrolling through Facebook, I’ve received more from the site than I’ve lost. It’s allowed me to reconnect with students I taught thirty years ago.
Last night I was chatting with a member of the class of 1982. She gave me permission to link to her website. She didn’t give me permission to comment, but I will anyway. What can she do–flunk me?
I want to make it clear that I never taught Judy anything. I couldn’t have taught her anything. She already knew what she needed to know. She was a writer. A poet.
She entertained us periodically with essays describing her part-time job at a nearby country club. I have vivid memories of long, furry tendrils reaching out and wrapping themselves around her legs while she was cleaning out the walk-in refrigerator. Those memories, and others, told in nauseating detail, made me laugh even as I vowed to avoid that particular dining room.
In her junior year, Judy placed in a poetry contest at a nearby college. One of the judges said she’d wanted to place the poem higher, but it was too short. The next year, she won the competition with another poem–the same length as last year’s. I memorized it and later, when I was teaching at a local university, posted a copy of it on the door of my office.
After Judy graduated, I found her mentioned in an article in the Austin newspaper: UT student Judith Edwards had appeared at Eeyore’s Birthday Party in Pease Park wearing a python draped across her shoulders. The accessory seemed to me entirely appropriate. Her goals had never included conformity.
Here’s a link to Judy’s website: http://www.judywords.info/
Browse through her poems and stories. You’ll get an idea of the pleasure I had being her student.
P.S. I hesitate to add this–I mean, I hate to give readers who live outside the United States such a…truthful…view of Texas, but if you have a mind to, read Judy’s story “The Big Texan.” She didn’t make it up. I wasn’t there, but I know it really happened.