On Saturday night at 8 p.m. I connected on FACETIME with teacher friends at the Meiji University Kiyosato Seminar House. They were involved in teaching Meiji Students in a one-week intensive English language program. One year ago, the teachers and students gave me a heartfelt send off during the party at the completion of the intensive course. At 70 years old I had hit the age ceiling at Meiji University when the university administrators put their professors out to pasture. The send off caught me off-guard and with unabashed abandon I could not help but shed copious tears.
My friend Robert Hamilton arranged the Saturday night virtual meeting. As always he was the key person to solve the unsolvable when it came to computer glitches and on-line pitfalls. At 8 p.m. on the button we connected. One by one the teachers entered his Japanese style room at the seminar house until in front of Robert’s MAC’s computer they were all arrayed on chairs or standing against the back wall of his room.
My friends and I bantered back and forth amiably, but the conversations were hardly engaging. When I reflected later in the evening on the FACETIME event, I realized they remembered me as I was a year ago and earlier. And I tried to fall into that role of me as I was. However, I’m afraid I failed. I am not the same person I was one year ago. And they are not the same people they were.
My teaching days at Kiyosato belong to the past. And as certainly as the sun rises in the East, the memory my friends have of me will grow dimmer and dimmer with each passing day. In fact, I believe by the end of this current seminar, they will hardly remember or even mention the name of Kermit Carvell.