I am always surprised when I hear from a former student. This letter from Roshan made my day:
Dear Ms. Jennie,
How are you doing? This is Roshan. I am currently in 12th grade this year – school starts next week and I’ve opted to go in person, so I’m excited to see what school will be like. This school year I’m also looking to do my Eagle Scout project this year. For my project I am hoping to lead a team of scouts to interview 10-15 veterans in Groton and submit the interviews to the Library of Congress in order to preserve their stories. The Library of Congress has a project called the Veterans’ History Project which I’m hoping these interviews can be a part of. Do you know any veterans in Groton who may be interested in taking part? I am still in the planning stages of my project and I’m trying to come up with a socially-distanced way for interviewing, but I’m hoping to start sometime this fall. Please let me know what you think.
You could have blown me over with a feather. Veteran’s interviews to be preserved at the Library of Congress? How noble.
When Roshan was a preschooler in my class, I thought he might become an artist, He had the hands. He had the mind. The private school he now attends is outstanding. He also had the interest. Picasso’s painting, Three Musicians, is a case in point.
Every spring we learn about art and the old masters, in earnest. This is exciting for children, who are natural artists. Picasso said, “It took me a lifetime to paint like a child.” This is also the first step in preparation for our annual art show for the community.
Roshan was especially taken with Three Musicians. The geometric shapes connected with him, and he began to create a horse (I remember it was yellow) that resembled Picasso’s masterpiece. It was incredible! I told his parents and encouraged them to have the painting framed- which they did.
I should have known. Art is math. Roshan is currently ‘Mr. Math’ at school. Now I understand how the early years, rich in art, were a foundation for his strong math skills.
Years later I was invited to Roshan’s house for dinner, along with two other teachers. It was a lovely meal of authentic Indian cuisine. After dinner, Roshan wanted to play the piano for everyone. He played “Tarantella” by Albert Pieczonka. Seriously. We were all thunderstruck.
Again, I should have known. Music, like art, is grounded in math.
I replied to Roshan’s letter:
It is so good to hear from you. You are doing a fine thing for your Eagle Scout project. Thank you! Those stories need to be recorded and remembered. Whether it is a heroic action, or an everyday story – they are all important.
Let me give you an example: I talked to Bonnie at the front desk, as her fellow was in the Air Force. He was only in for a year, so she didn’t that was important. But, he was in Vietnam repairing aircraft.
I am working on a list for you. Roshan, thank you again for doing this. I’m sure you have contacted the local VFW. I will get names to you. I’m very proud of you!
And, Roshan replied to me:
Thank you so much for your response! I totally agree that both the heroic actions and everyday stories are important, and I hope to capture a wide range of experiences through all the interviews; it would be so cool to interview Bonnie’s fellow! If there are any other people you know who may be interested, it would be great if you could give me their contact info.
Thank you so much for your support. Best wishes,
Our correspondence continues. I will be invited to attend his Eagle Scout ceremony. I can only imagine the wonderful road of life ahead for Roshan.
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” -Dr. Seuss-