32-Years Later, I check-in with my 8th Grade English Teacher, Bob.

(Also available – the video of this at https://vimeo.com/453149001)

Through Instagram last month, my 8th grade year English teacher reached out and connected with me.

I followed him back and said hello. I came to learn he was married and had four children. He now lives and works in the general area I grew up, Hampton Roads, Virginia. He has done well and is a principal in a public school.

My time in 8th grade, perhaps like most of us, was full of advances, retractions, betrayals, reconnaissance, and well-placed humorlessness. Oh, and some studying between sports. But Bob’s class was a highlight, an oasis. As much as a 14 year-old can be friends with someone fully grown (also their teacher grading their work), we became friends. He had a huge impact on me in those years in in the ones that followed.

I hadn’t spoken to him since 1990.

Bob kindly accepted my offer to meet online and complete a recording of what we might have to say to each other after all these years. This conversation took place August 30, 2020.


Any contact around this episode is welcome – email me – at

l i l w h q

@gmail.com (remove all the weird spaces to make up the email address)

I’d love to hear what you think