A very special student!
Back in 1990... I was teaching Fine Arts at the East Harlem Performing Arts School. Seems like a million years ago. I met so many truly wonderful people there. Some as colleagues, but so many as students. It is a very great pleasure when I reconnect with one of them. After a long gap in our relationship, Laala Matias, a bubbling full-of-life, sparkling spirit with a scary-smart mind reconnected with me through facebook. As some added icing on the cake she just shared with me this photo taken of the 2 of us back in the day... that day was 20 years ago and the picture was taken in my classroom - She, 13ish - Me, 41 (I think).
I think it's remarkable how kindred spirits separated by background and age manage to find each other. It certainly pleases me to know this one!
(Caption from Laala's own facebook page)
"In 7th grade with art teacher/visionary, Mark Gura. This was at the height of my Hippie phase."
PS - I just came across this (related) article:
"On Facebook, Telling Teachers How Much They Meant" http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/nyregion/14facebook.html?_r=1
But, hey, the appreciation cuts both ways!