Letter from Jacquelin Singh, June 11, 2005
To all who have come to celebrate the years at AS/AIS/AES: GREETINGS!
And especially to the exclusive few who attended the school in the old Taj Barracks on Janpath. You are special people indeed and should be going around with badges proclaiming your “grace under fire”. Connie Brown Carpenter, Gordon Fisher, Hank Freeman, Bill Holcome, Robert Blake, Nancy Blake, Peggy Fisher Squires, Lee Grossman and Tom Studwell coped with tiny classrooms that had leaky roofs and makeshift desks jammed together. Some of them were my first students and they taught me to teach. I had to keep up with them, so every night it was back to Moby Dick to prepare for the next day’s lesson.
To those through the 1975 crop and later through the 1989 and ’90, ALL GREAT MEMORIES! I want Dave Minehart to know he didn’t get an A in senior English just because he looked like D.H. Lawrence. But Bhim Nimgade’s ability to recognize every Biblical quotation that popped up in the course of our reading certainly gave him an edge! Who amongst his colleagues in Seattle would know that their Asst. D.A. Jeff Baird was the poet of his senior class?
If I included all my former students who are NOT going to be at the reunion, I would have to write a book! I wish there were time to mention all the names and faces that come to mind now that I no longer teach: all those crazy, intelligent, hardworking teenagers who, like Sunaina Suneja, slogged to get The Taj Times out every week and the literary magazine Focus printed four times a school year -- in the chaotic back room of Malhotra’s Stationery Mart in C.P. Or students in my creative writing class who, like Maura Moynihan, turned in sensitive short stories drawn from life and enlivened with imagination. . It all adds up to this: students made teaching a delight. For me, you are all still 16 or 17 years old, no gray hair, no bulges around the middle.
Most especially, you are like my children.
I live in Chandigarh now.
Hugs all round and Cheers!