Since she was our graphic designer at the Express in the days when the students put out an actual, hold-in-your-hands newspaper, Mary Sand has amazed me with her patience and skill. It’s not easy dealing with a bunch of student editors (and one fast-moving, mind-always-changing adviser), but Mary designed the Express and Mainline magazine with ease and aplomb and taught us all a lot in the bargain.
Turns out she’s also a super-talented muralist (a leaf off her painter mama’s tree), guided by thoughtful art teachers at Sacramento City College. And now, to honor the centenary of my house and its little garage, Mary is muralizing a fanciful garden.
It’s her canvas, I told her, giving her minimal input. But she asked for copies of some poems and wants to work in my words to this art piece… one of the best investments I can imagine for this old house, this old teacher about to retire.
I’ve long said that the greatest gifts of teaching are getting to know and nurture people like Mary. If we’re lucky, some of them stay in our lives and add to them, the students who taught us more than a little, too.