Thirty-five years ago I was entering fourth grade at Jefferson School. My teacher was Miss Lampros and I was nervous about the new school year. That wound up being one of the best years of school for me and it was then that I decided that I was going to be a teacher too. She was my inspiration.
I had tried various times to locate her to let her know what an influence she had been to me but didn’t have much success until June of this year. I wrote about it after finally getting in touch with her. We interacted via email for a few months this summer and finally planned a date to meet for lunch. I wrote down the date. Wednesday, August 19th. The problem was, August 19th was a Tuesday – while we were still in Connecticut visiting colleges. I had been so off schedule because of being off my foot, I lost track of the days and totally screwed up! I got an extremely caring email from her later that day asking me if I was okay since I didn’t show up to lunch. I was devastated. I had just told to the boys about how excited I was for my lunch with her on Wednesday and how I couldn’t wait for it to happen. Meanwhile, I had just unknowingly “ditched” her after all this time!
I apologized profusely and we agreed to meet again and we did. Today. As I drove to brunch, I was wondering what we’d talk about. A lot had happened in the thirty-five years since I’d seen her! Mainly, I grew up! Apparently, she told me during our conversation, that she thought the same thing! In all of our email conversations, I didn’t realize this, but I hadn’t ever told her my maiden name! I couldn’t believe it. She came to this brunch not even knowing exactly who she was coming to see. Once she saw me and I told her I was Claire Gianni, it came back to her. She remembered my sister and my mom and we reminisced about Jefferson School and other teachers that I had and students that she had taught.
She is retired now and still living locally. She travels all over the world and is an author of several books. We sat together for nearly an hour and a half and there was never a lull in the conversation. As we left, we promised to keep in touch. I am looking forward to that. I learned so much about her today. She has done so much more than “just teach.” Ninety minutes isn’t nearly enough time to cover so many years of life.