Written by: MeLisa Clay
When I began to think of a topic for this week’s blog, two things came to mind: 1. Wow – this is my 20th year at Tattnall and 2. relationships. When we moved to Macon and started at Tattnall, we had a five year old (Ashley, Class of 2009) and a two year old (Abby, Class of 2012). Now Ashley is twenty-five, and we are planning her wedding, which is set for June, and Abby is twenty-one and will graduate from college in May. Ashley graduated summa cum laude from college in 2013 and has been teaching first grade for the past three years, and unless Abby falls off track in her final semester, she will graduate summa cum laude as well with a 4.0. While we are very proud of our daughters and their accomplishments, I can’t help but constantly be reminded of how prepared they were at Tattnall for college and for life. I am quite sure neither one was born knowing how to write a paper, solve a math problem, make a presentation, etc. I have told many of their teachers over the years how much I appreciate them but would like to do so again publicly – so Thank You!!
Not only were they taught well, but they learned early on that their teachers were there for them if they needed help; thus relationships were formed. Neither hesitated in college to ask for help if needed. Abby even has coffee with one of her professors (Don’t worry; she is a female.) from time to time. In addition, their relationship with God was always nourished and encouraged. I bet you haven’t often thought about God being found in the restrooms at Tattnall. I’ll never forget the day Ashley came to my classroom after school and said she had asked Jesus to come into her heart that day. After I picked myself up off the floor, I inquired about what had brought that on. She said whoever (I wish I knew who that person was) had been the chapel speaker had talked about it, so when she got back to the classroom, she asked to go to the restroom and asked Jesus to come into her heart. Abby had a similar experience several years later. So, to say that I am thankful for Tattnall in many ways is really a huge understatement.
I have been reminded recently how important relationships are. After a recent surgery, I was thrilled to get emails, texts, calls, meals, and a basket of goodies containing many of my favorite things. I especially appreciated the prayers said on my behalf. All of these kind gestures reminded me that in the future if the thought crosses my mind that maybe I should check on someone, I probably should. It really means a lot! This experience has made me evaluate my part of a relationship and how I might improve. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” I guess that goes back to a version of the Golden Rule – be the type of friend you want to have. There are many kinds of relationships – child/parent, siblings, boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, student/teacher, friend, coworker, spiritual – just to name a few. I often encourage our students to ask for help when needed and to get involved at Tattnall and then later in college and eventually in life. I really believe the more you put into something the more you will get out of it – whatever it is – a class, a club, a sport, a relationship.
I hope you will join me in thanking those around you who have helped you or who have meant something to you and will also think about your relationships and how you might help to improve them.