How can I summarize, Student, everything you have meant to me over the past eight months in just one little yearbook blurb? I have put so much energy into you -- into being able to teach you to the best of my ability. Yes, I will sign your yearbook. And I will never forget you.
The women I am among, the ones who have assured themselves I'm not a voyeur, give me a great deal for credit for my photographic labor. I'm dedicated, I take lovely photos, I'm always around. It's a lot of work. I feel duty-bound to acknowledge that my motives are much more self-serving.
The problem is the adults. I'm taking about the parents who raised their kids to think it's hilarious to embrace racial caricatures. And yes, I'm aware that some of the students in the photo are Latinos. If anything, that's even worse.
I had not been back to a high school gathering in 25 years. I was not worried about how I looked or whether my resume was prestigious enough. I was worried that this whole thing might be a tad too awkward. Part of it was my fault.
I am in the midst of motherhood when the phone rings and I see the name of a childhood friend on my caller ID: a woman whom I have known since I was five years old but have seen only a few times since we were 18. I hear her voice and it sounds like home.