No, I can’t say that anything I’ve done has saved people’s lives,
but I have taught many children to read and write—or at least read
and write better, and I’ve made people sing and dance while playing
my conga drums, and I remember one time while on the way to my
classroom I taught a little girl on the playground how to hold a basketball
correctly and shoot it toward the basket, and when she finally made one
she jumped up and down because it was the first basket she’d ever made,
and thinking about her from time to time makes me feel joyful, sometimes
even better than remembering that I taught elementary school for thirty years
and that some of my former students have said that I was their favorite teacher.
And though the good feelings never last, at least I’ve done a few good things...

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