A Book for Alvina

I get a handful of free books from my publisher, and I’m saving one for Alvina. She was my first teacher, the one who made me want to teach. And as I took class after class on the way to a teaching degree, I measured my other teachers and professors and eventually myself by Alvina. She was my yardstick.

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Alvina is the teacher. I’m in the front row with the blue dress.

Alvina is now 94 years old. The last time I went back to Grantsville, Maryland, I stopped to see Alvina. She remembered me . . . and my first grade reading score.

“I wrote a book,” I told her.

“Good for you,” she said. “I want to buy one. What’s it about?”

“You,” I said. “It’s about you. And I’ll be bringing you a book.”

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