Friday, August 26, 2011

Ellis (Dear Watson)

Do you guys remember how not long along, Ellis’ former student (who now lives in Africa!) found him through this blog and wrote us to ask about him? Click Here to check out that blog post again. A couple weeks ago, we read Watson’s note out loud to the class and Ellis was moved to speechlessless. Watson! This letter goes out to you from Your Favorite Teacher describing his fond memories of your1971 6th grade class. Write more – and ask your former classmates to do the same. You’ve made Ellis’ “entire summer”… now it’s time to make his entire fall!

Ellis Zelmanoff
Dear Watson

Dear Watson,

I am extremely happy to receive your email at my creative writing class at the Philadelphia Senior Center (main one in Philadelphia, PA, on August 11, 2011). 

How are you and what are you doing in West Africa?  I have retired from Public School Teaching in 2008 and spent my last year in it as a teacher of English as a Second Language in North and Southwest Philadelphia mainly with students ages 4 – 9 from Africa, South America and Puerto Rico.  The classes went well.  I was sorry to say goodbye to each class I had.  After I taught your Sixth Grade Class in Camden, I went to Lakewood, NJ, and Philly again in my public school teaching.  After I was done teaching public elementary school, I went into Computer Programming – teaching young adults in Princeton, NJ, for the Attone Institute, a computer programming school for first year students in Computer Science.  I was also privileged to teach and work as a Computer Programmer for Campbell Soup’s in Camden, Bellcore in Piscatarbay, NJ, and Reece in Bordentown, NJ.  I even had a 5 year stint as a Computer Programming Contractor in NYC where I commuted faithfully from New Brunswick, NJ, every morning for about 5 years.

I think a lot about your 6th grade class in Camden, NJ, and mostly have fond memories of the way we ended the last few months of the school year.

I remember you and your mom and Joe Sikorsky and his mom. Brian Holden was another mostly fond memory, Sharon Ray, Sharon Clifford, Debbie Molleneany, Sarah, and Wanda Cooper and her friend Jackie were also fond memories.  We had some trouble in the beginning of the school year in Sept ‘71 but got our act together by June ’72 “that our year together was a good learning year,” I felt honored and elated by his remark and others from you, Wanda, Jackie and Arlisha.

Please reply to my email.  I would like to find out more about you and any other students in my class as you guys were my first teaching experience and overall.  I rate the class as a dynamic success – especially the peaceful way you guys came in to see me the last day in June of the class and let me know that I did at least some things you liked. 

Please write more
Ellis Zelmanoff

God bless you.  You have made my entire summer.  Keep writing!

If you know any of the other students still, feel free to pass this email on to them.

Maybe we could have a class reunion someday.