Thank you for reminding me what’s important | Opinion | The Press and Standard

by | April 24, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: April 24, 2016 at 11:05 am

On Sunday afternoon, I made the short trip to Downtown Charleston for the senior recital of one of my former students Josh Avant. Josh will graduate in just a few days from The College of Charleston, where he will earn a degree in vocal performance. He plans to spend the next year in Charleston, where he will take lessons and save his money for his eventual move to New York and his continued pursuit of a career in opera.

Although I am not a huge fan of opera, I like to believe I have an eclectic palette when it comes to music. Josh’s performance on Sunday brought a few tears to my eyes — and not because it was an hour of opera. It was because as his second- and third-grade teacher, I sat enveloped in the story he was telling, while remembering flashes of how he got there.

Earlier in the week, I received a special note from Josh reminding me about his upcoming recital. I’m sure, knowing Josh, he likely sent notes to many people he cared about. But, it was what he said in the note that made me stop and remember how important it is to take an interest in those we know and care about.

I often ask athletes about their grades, inquire if they are “behaving” and ask if they are making good choices. It is because I care and want them to know I am interested in their futures. After reading Josh’s note, I feel validated in how much I care about the future of our youth.

“Thank you for being the wonderful person you were to me years ago in 2nd and 3rd grade. Your pushing me to do things outside of my comfort zone, like basketball and baseball, is part of the reason I’m where I am today. Who would have thought that shy little boy would be pursuing a career in performance? You have had a tremendous impact on my life, and I thank you for that. We take for granted sometimes the effect teachers have on their students even at a young age.”

Thank you, Josh, for reminding me of what’s important and I’d gladly “enjoy” more opera for you.

(Cindy Crosby is sports editor for The Press and Standard. She can be reached at cindyc4@yahoo.com.)

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