Life: A Lesson

Where do I begin? Well, THANK YOU to Michele for organizing a successful conference for the Connecticut Education Association Student Program. THANK YOU for allowing me to be a lecturer – to teach groups of students the knowledge I have been waiting to share with people to make them informed decision-makers, educated students and people who could make a difference through a gift that is one of free will: education.
I smiled, cried tears of joy, and laughed so hard after the last lecture I gave with mom and dad – who came to see me. Michele, her helpers and parents for supporting me helped make Saturday a success for me. I suppose I could thank the students who took my class for absolutely rocking the joint with your opinions and engaging thoughts and presence, and for having my back. I suppose I could start a conversation with Michele that starts with “You know, next time … ”
I could, however, recount some of the memories I had during the lectures I have that captured and warmed the heart I have:
  • students from all over Connecticut colleges and universities
  • students from Southern CT State University
  • students who shared their stories and were engaged with the class
  • Michele and former teacher Gloria Brown watching me
  • Parents who wanted to come see the presentation and wonder “I can not believe this!”
  • students who were taking this class to make a difference in lives
Watching people cross the generation gap, make new friends and share the gift of education in the lectures is priceless.  They had different peers, but it did not matter: everyone was part of the family, and everyone needed to be hugged and cherished.
I saw many things on Saturday morning; I heard so many stories being recounted and shared.  I listened to each person during the interactive portion of the lectures I gave and was not overwhelmed with tearful emotion. I was overwhelmed with joy.  So many faces that brought me to realize that I am loving what I do … and appreciating life.
One thing I saw that I did not bring attention to was for two reasons. First, I did not need to point it out as it spoke for itself. Second, I would have struggled holding it together. This is: the people who chose to smile and say ‘Thank You, Drew” after the lecture. I have never been more touched by such a simple gesture in my life.  They were a part of a movement I started that would florish – for the rest of student’s lives and my life. Those students I had will continue to be a part of my life, if we see each other or not.  Thank you to the folks who chose to do that along with Michele, her helpers and my parents – it meant more to me than you will ever know.
Life does not ever turn out the way one envisions it.  Life is not something that can be organized, put in a little box, and wrapped with a perfect bow. Life is messy (stated friends who want me to understand that!).  No one knew a kid, at 18 turning 19 in a few months could be lecturing to upper college level students on a topic that Ph.D holders study for years, months and days to come. No one knew whether I would benefit from this or collapse. No one knew what my future would bring. But I did. We always think we know everything, but in truth we are at the mercy of whatever comes along.
Lecturing, educating people and making a difference in lives is something I cherish to the heart. I could never envision myself to be in front of a classroom teaching while students are critically active in thinking and writing. This is a feeling for me no one can understand, unless they do it. The Connecticut Education Association does promote teachers, parents and children. I look forward to each time when I lecture to future students, I look forward to remembering past lectures and students, and I look forward to knowing (if I did not now) that life always is a lesson. Each lesson, we can come together for a few moments, if anything, and be with each other to reflect on our impacts we have on each other, but most importantly, our times together.
Thanks to everyone for a wonderful and motivating program I was able to teach at this weekend. I love YOU ALL so much.

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