But “underwhelming” I can do without any advance notice.
Although I had studied Erin Luckhart’s excellent step-by-step Canva video tutorial and thought I had pulled together the two essential pieces she recommended – a basic knowledge of Canva and a successful team or person to highlight – things didn’t turn out so well.
Obviously, the issue wasn’t with Erin’s tutorial.
I guess the problem was with my particular choice of success to highlight.
Maybe I shouldn’t have chosen ME.
This was a big mistake. (Ya think?)
But I really thought I had garnered a personal success worth touting.
Unfortunately, my success didn’t even last as long as Erin’s 11 minute video tutorial.
Dang … and I came so close to being able to wow you.
About three Saturdays ago I was typing away on my computer while sitting at my desk in our district admin office.
While I’d like to blame my boss for being such a taskmaster, no doubt I was still catching up on stuff I had hoped to start back in May.
All of a sudden I noticed an email with the subject line: Were you a 2nd grade teacher with the American School Foundation in Mexico City many years ago?
Yikes! I was.
(Now who did I owe money to? I was only a poor first-year teacher for crying out loud!)
The email read: Hi, Mr. Page. I hope it’s you. This is Erica B. I was a student in your 2nd grade class when I lived in Mexico with my family. I’ve grown up. Earned two masters degrees. Got married. And have a daughter (Natalya) who is entering 2nd grade. I’m with the National Democratic Institute in Washington DC. My next assignment is in Russia, so my family and I are traveling the midwest before we leave. We’re going to Manitou Island in upper Michigan and perhaps we could see you. I’ve told Natalya how you were my favorite all-time teacher and how I hope when we are in Russia she will have a teacher like you. I’ve told Natalya so many stories about our year together. What are the chances of us getting together?
Whoa! What an email!
I replied and excitedly told Erica that I’d love to see her and meet her husband and daughter sometime.
I included my cell number and got back to work.
About five minutes later, my phone rang.
“Hi, Mr. Page… this is Erica. We are now in downtown Holland. I emailed you when we were about 100 miles away. We’re standing in front of a nice looking restaurant called Alpen Rose. Do you know it?”
“You’re kidding!” I gushed. “Know it? I’m only five blocks away! I’ll see you in 10 minutes.”
When our call finished, I was more than a little nervous.
Oh well, how hard can it be for an apparently wonderful and fantastic teacher like me to go meet up with a former student and her family?
Hopefully, my pride-filled head wouldn’t get in the way of me recognizing Erica.
I’d sure hate to hug the wrong female tourist and get arrested.
But all worked out.
Erica and I identified each other quickly, and within an instant, we were exchanging hugs as she introduced me to her husband while little Natalya looked on.
Natalya maintained her inquisitive gaze while we adults chatted for several more seconds.
I bent over to shake Natalya’s hand when Erica began to introduce me with way-too-much praise.
But who am I to interrupt a mother speaking to her child?
I could tell Natalya’s mind was wrestling with something when she reached out her hand to take mine.
“Mr. Page,” she asked in a small polite voice,“How OLD were you when you taught my mommy?”
I can’t actually remember my exact answer.
We were laughing so hard.
But I knew Natalya wasn’t going to be begging for my autograph anytime soon.
And I also knew I’d have to find a different subject for my Canva project.