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D’une Génération à l’Autre

Today's blog post is an update on several things going on in my life lately. In my blog post on March 4, 2015 [1], I told about the upcoming retirement of my two colleagues with whom I have been teaching French for 31 years and whom I have known for almost 45 years. In that post I also mentioned that, as sad as I was to see Bruce and Jackie retire, I was looking forward to having my former student Jeremy Patterson as my French-teaching colleague. As of Monday of this week, Jeremy is now Dr. Patterson! He successfully defended his dissertation at Middlebury College [2], a school renowned for its language programs. I could not be more proud of Jeremy.

About 10 years ago the president of the university where I teach encouraged us faculty who were in our 50's and early 60's to look at our students to see who we thought might be a good person to replace us upon retirement. As I considered my students at that time in regards to this, I immediately thought of Jeremy. I talked to him one day after class and told him that I knew I wasn't going to be able to teach forever and that I would like him to pray about continuing his French studies so that he could replace me someday when I retire. He told me he had never thought about anything like that, but he would indeed pray about it. Not long after that, he came to tell me that he was going to pursue the path I had suggested, as the Lord opened doors for him.

But instead of his replacing me upon my retirement, I get to enjoy having this fine man as my colleague for a few years. How cool is that?!

There's a poster I put up in my classroom each fall as a reminder about what teaching is all about — passing on what we know to the next generation. The saying at the bottom of the poster is what I have chosen as the title of this post — D'une Génération à l'Autre = From One Generation to Another. Here's a picture of that poster.

Deux Generations

A couple of bits of humor come to mind in connection with that nice picture. One, for the older man, is the young man the apple of his eye? Another one is something my former German teacher Dr. Salter once told me — "The apple doesn't fall far from the horse."

Remembering my having told him that story, my son Mark snapped the picture below at the Children's Museum of the Upstate [3] recently and sent it to me.

Apple and Horse

He said there was no apparent reason for the apple to be there, but when he saw it, he knew I would get a laugh out of it.

I must say that this summer I have seen or heard from more former students than I remember having done in the past. I guess I'm getting to enjoy some of the fruit of past labors, which encourages me to labor on.

Speaking of from one generation to the next, we were able to have our whole family at our house a couple of weeks ago. Our neighbor kindly acted as our photographer, and here's our gang.

Loach Family 07-11-15

I hope that each of you is investing in the next generation in some way. If not, consider how you could do that. There are so many ways that you can. Maybe my commenters will tell how they are doing just that. BTW, some of you may be getting to an age where you need to start looking around for your eventual replacement. Just sayin'.... 🙂


"This gift for this day; God still owns tomorrow." — Elisabeth Elliot


Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac.