Hey! Did you read Friday’s blog? The numbers of viewers of Friday’s blog about a bit of ordinary life in Camden surprised me! More than one hundred… Why? I mentioned my blog on Bruce Smith’s Facebook site about Camden. Thanks, Bruce, for your site that connects Camden people, past and present.
People like to remember the waffle man, the clothes prop man, the pony ride, stick ball, panzarottis… All are part of my North Camden/Cramer Hill childhood memories, too.
However, I get to make Camden memories every day because I live in Cramer Hill. This afternoon I’m taking a break from paring down papers and possessions. How excruciating it is to throw away copies of essays and stories written by my little English as a Second Language students or copies of their poems. My Camden City Public School elementary students stay in my mind and their handwritten papers stir up the love that I still have for them.
Or, the letters that they wrote me… Throw them out? Some are from years ago, but, I’m retired and I can’t keep them all. One bunch of letters that I just retrieved from the wastebasket showed how much English that they learned in the year or two or three that they had been in the English-speaking USA.
Here’s a bit from a shy, frail girl that I had maybe three or four years ago. She whispered and I almost was ready to get a hearing aid to hear what she was saying and I remember that she wanted to be a vet.
I want to say thank you for all the things that you had teach me. You were always nice, kind and good to me. so that why I was always nice, kind and good to you. You always talk to us about your cats. How bad they were and good.
A homesick boy new from Puerto Rico wrote:
You are a good, not old teacher. Your mother might love you, but I love you more than your mother does. If you come to Puerto Rico, you can be friend with my mother. What I like of you is when you talk it is beautiful, more beautiful than a beautiful woman.
An often grumpy boy from a cheerful Mexican family who claimed he didn’t like to write wrote a long letter telling me about his summer plans with his family ended his letter saying:
I’m going to never forget you.
All elementary school teachers get these kinds of letters and notes. They usually keep them because they make up for the hardships of teaching and there are many hardships. I guess I can’t throw them out, not all, at least.
I love these Camden memories.
Marguerite Ferra, retired from Wiggins College Preparatory Laboratory Family School, Camden
PS How do you like that long name? Ha ha.