Both her parents were working that night, so I accompanied granddaughter Brigid to her freshman orientation.
We got her schedule and talked about her new teachers.
“Do you have information on which ones are nice?” I asked.
“Doesn’t matter if they’re nice,” she said. “The best teachers are not those who are nice but those who help you learn.”
Throughout the evening, other students as well as parents and teachers went out of their way to say “hello” to her.
“You’re very popular,” I said, as we walked to my car at the end of the orientation.
“No,” she replied. “I’m not popular; I’m respected.”
I wish I had been that wise when I was in the springtime of my years. I wish I were that wise now.
But I am at least smart enough to know that she is right. Even at my age, the best teachers hold me accountable, help me learn. Even at my age, respect is better than popularity.