A Former Student
I got a letter today from a former 6th grade student of mine from the Vientiane International School (VIS) – a school I taught at for two years in the mid-90s in Vientiane, Laos. Out of all the places I’ve lived, Laos was one of my favorites because of its unspoiled beauty – evident in both the landscape and the people. I had an amazingly challenging 6th grade class due to the dizzying array of performance levels – reading levels ranged, for example, from 1st grade to 12th grade. This former student who recently contacted me has stayed in touch over the years to let me know about her progress and growth. About 2 years ago, she graduated from Stanford and is now teaching 5th and 6th grade composition. She is also considering MFA programs in Creative Writing for the coming Fall – having been accepted to several programs throughout the country. She is a remarkable young woman and the connection means a lot to me. I am amazed that she has kept in touch with me for so long.
I didn't even know that the school had a website until now. After visiting the website, I also learned that they continued to publish a school paper, Dragon Tales, that I started with the same 6th grade class this former student of mine was in; I have a copy of the very first edition. I even remember the school-wide vote to select the name. I wonder if my former 6th grade student knows the newspaper her 6th grade class started lives on today? This picture of the school below doesn't quite capture the surrounding beauty.