So here’s the scene:

I had a visit to my alma mater, the University of Redlands (Och Tamale!  Go Bulldogs!) last week.  I was asked to do some work with the School of Education, so I headed to Redlands for some meetings and lunch with one of the professors.

There are some things you need to know about my not-so-stellar college history before we move on with my story…

My first two years in college, I took remedial math.  Twice.  I had a bit of, oh how do I say it, FUN.  I had a spotty attendance record.  I failed Spanish – with a full-on F.  I attended class so rarely that my Spanish teacher came out of the class when he saw me walking by (not going to the very class that I was supposed to be in at that moment) and yelled across the quad at me, “Jill!  Jill!  You need to come to class!”  I was 20.  And my teacher was yelling at me to come to class.  I acted like I didn’t hear him.

Maturity at its finest.

I’m sure my mom and dad were very proud of my 1.3 gpa.  I sure was.


So back to last week.

We had a great lunch, talked about the Common Core, literacy and how to get “real life” experiences to kids in the School of Education.  I talked about how there is a disconnect between college education work and real-life teaching work.  I shared that so many of the districts (dare I say all?) that we work with are having to train recent college grads from the ground up.  After 4 years of college, the districts are forced to train new teachers like they haven’t had those 4 years.

We talked about theory and had some people in common – we both love Richard Elmore!  And then we went back to the School of Ed to meet with the new Assistant Dean.

We walked down the hall and made a right turn into Dr. Castino’s office – he’s the new Assistant Dean.

I IMMEDIATELY knew what I had walked into.


So here I was, the “expert” (used tongue-in-cheek) that was there to help them get on the right page with the Common Core…and well, he’d failed me 20 years prior.  Joe (because we’re so close now, I call him Joe) said, “Gosh – you really look so familiar!” and I choked out, “Oh my gosh, PLEASE don’t hold me to my past performance.  You gave me an ‘F’ in Spanish.”

He assured me that he didn’t remember that (I’m sure as he was making a mental note to look back at my transcripts and wondering why on earth they had asked me to help them)…

It turned out fine.  I made a joke out of it.

But the message is this: don’t run from your Spanish professor – – – they come back to haunt!

I’m still recovering.