Saturday, December 01, 2007

One is Silver and the Other is Gold


I started teaching when I was twenty years old. My colleagues at that time were all in their young twenties. Most had been teaching a year or so longer than I was. We taught in a rough school. We had a miserable, mean AP. We all loved kids and we all loved teaching. I would never have survived teaching without my friend Phil. Over the years, we all got married, had children celebrated Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, weddings (of our children) and deaths of our parents. We laughed together and cried together and now we are all growing old together. We no longer work in the same place and all but two of us are retired from the New York City school system. We still get together a few times a year and laugh and talk like we were still young. I just left this group of friends. We had a really expensive dinner in this nice place not too far from here that has a little room in the back for us to use. It was great catching up. We shared stories about our children and pictures of new grand children. We talked about trips and plans for the future. Our spouses all get along. A night like this rejuvenates.

I once tried to explain this friendship to a woman I now work with. She was offended when I told her that no friendships will ever be like these. They can't be. The history I have with these people cannot be replicated. Although I love my new friends, I wasn't there when their kids were born (and they weren't there for mine). We didn't know each other when we were getting married and mostly we did not learn to teach together. I have made many new friends over the years but my old friends are my gold.

5 comments:

Frumteacher said...

That is beautiful...

Miss Profe said...

Friends of Gold...this could be a Hallmark card!

Thank you for sharing. Makes me appreciate my "gold" in a whole new wa.:)

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

You do, indeed, have riches in your lifelong friends. I hope they read your blog to see the tribute you have written for them.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

Thanks for sharing. I do agree friendships like those you have had through the years are a thing of past. We may be more prosperous as a nation but we certainly poorer as human beings as this society becomes more dog eat dog! I look at my own life in teaching and I can not say I have anything close to your experiences in terms of having friendships on the job. I don't feel sorry for myself since I have a nation and culture with all its problems to return to in order to discover in my later years. I do believe in returning to ones roots.

I look at these young buc teachers and I don't envy them as things have become increasingly inhuman.

Again thanks for sharing!

Pissed Off said...

Justice--I have a feeling if you had been at my first school you would have had dinner with us! You seem like someone we would be proud and happy to call friend.