Tuesday, I had a heartwarming experience that really bowled me over. As much as I wanted to share the moment, I selfishly wanted to keep it as mine alone for a short while to savor. One of my former students, Adam Meszaros (accents deleted on purpose), back from the days of having students for four semesters, more intensely than now, invited me for a coffee. In addition, to being his instructor, I was his MA thesis adviser. Adam aced his defense and final exams in both American Studies and Teacher Training. He thanked me a million times, which was more humbling than one would expect.
At the end of our coffee, Adam presented me with tokens of his gratitude. The first was a copy of the book called Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, a title I have had on my Wish List for quite some time. It was a thrill to finally get a copy, but more than that was the fact that Adam took the time to know what books I wanted and hunt it down. His note inside “Thought the title of this book expresses the most important fact I learned from you: the “power of thinking”. How I kept from bursting into a waterfall of tears at that moment, I will never be able to capture the ‘thought’. As a second gift, Adam made something for me, which will be an office decoration and inspiration.
I need to walk you through the graphic, which he created and had laminated, to fully comprehend and appreciate the effort he went through.
1). Quercus borealis maximus is the Latin name for the Red Oak tree. Not only did I NOT know that, but I also did not know it was the New Jersey State tree, where I was born. The Liberty Bell refers to my years of living in Philadelphia and the Rockies for my time in California.
2.) Hungarian flag colors and my venturing here.
3.) 18 Wattles really threw me. 18 is our building number. Akacfa means Acacia tree. Wattle is a type of Acacia tree.
4.) BudaBaB our b and b’s name is referenced here. In Hungarian bab is bean. Many Hungarians question why we call it BudaBaB when we are on the Pest side.
5.) I am notorious for using a rubber stamp with my initials on 3×5 file cards or participation sheets when they actively speak in class. This was my way of encouraging their language skills.
The Skinner quote on the bottom is one of my favorites.
Shockingly, I managed to hold myself together when Adam was honoring me with these gifts, but later I spoke to Ron in the States. More typical of me, I lost it and could not speak for a few minutes, being choked with emotions. Thank you Adam!