Saturday, March 18, 2006
Erin Go Doctorate
Erin Rand sat right in front of my desk during sixth period honors English, when she was a sophomore at Sandpoint High School. For some odd reason, Erin had not earned the seat because of questionable behavior as so many others did during my teaching career.
Usually, after the first day of school---the one day when kids could sit wherever they wished---I'd watch the dynamics and zero in on those who might just need a little extra "special" attention from me and my eagle eye.
Of course, that strategic placement didn't always work, as in the case of another student the preceding hour that same year who earned her front-row seat midway through second semester. She found ways to push my buttons, regardless of where she sat. I've chronicled her most unique methods---which involved a heavy literature book---in a story about my teaching career. In her case, it eventually all turned out for the good.
I guess everyone in sixth period English during the 1989-90 school year was well-behaved. I can't remember any notables earning that very special seating designation among that group of students. Erin was attentive and gifted with both intellect and a wry sense of humor. She knew her grammar, she read good books, and she knew how to write. In fact, she interviewed my mother and wrote a fine story about her for the countywide history book that year.
Erin lived near Athol. That would not be very significant to mention, except that she informed me one time of an event occurring at the Athol Library. I can't remember exactly what it was, but I was impressed that she was such a fine spokesperson for that tiny library in the town south of Sandpoint which everybody loves to mock because of its name. And, besides, at that time Athol was pretty small; I was amazed to learn it had its own library.
The other day, I heard from Erin for the first time in several years. She sent me a commencement invitation. As mentioned, Erin was really smart, so I was a bit stunned to think she was just now graduating from college. Surely, I thought, there must be an explanation. I opened the envelope and discovered that the invitation was from the University of Iowa.
I was happy to learn that Erin had graduated from college. From where, I'm not sure, but this card was inviting me to attend the ceremonies in May when she will receive her DOCTORATE in communications. Yup, she was smart, all right, and, yup, I was pretty proud to be on her list of invitees. Erin tells me she's set to move back west in the fall where she'll be on the teaching staff at Fresno State University. So, once more a Sandpoint student is distinguishing herself in a fine way.
And, speaking of really nice distinctions along with university stuff, there's another Sandpoint product who'll be in the national spotlight today. ESPN will be featuring the NCAA Wrestling Championships this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. PST. Sandpoint's Jake Rosholt will once again represent Oklahoma State University in a bid to take his third consecutive national wrestling title at 197 pounds.
Jake and his family moved to Oklahoma after he was first accepted at the university. His brother is also a very competitive wrestler, and his sister is a phenomenal college soccer player. Their Sandpoint roots include the Rosholts, Petersons and Thurlows----all hard-working, salt-of-the-earth folks.
So, once more comes that broken record that we all love to sing: They're from Sandpoint, and we couldn't be any prouder!
Erin Go Doctorate!
Take that title, Jake! Jake took his third NCAA championship!
And, of course, Go Zags! Gonzaga is going to the Sweet Sixteen against UCLA!