Sam was in my New Testament class as a freshman the last year I taught (1996-1997). I'd had his brothers in various classes before him and found Sam to be equally engaging and delightful to have in class while also being uniquely himself.
I know that teachers (and parents and youth pastors) are not supposed to have favorites (and you know that statement has to be followed by a...wait for it...) but, Sam was one of mine. I'm not sure he knew that at the time. Had I stuck around Heritage for three more years and seen him through to graduation, he would have eventually found out.
Like most teachers and parents and youth pastors who are honest enough to own the fact that there are some "kids" they connect with more easily or enjoy more consistently, I worked hard to not let those facts bias my evaluation of academic preformance or judgement of classroom behaviour. But, how that worked and whether that worked is a topic for another day and another blog.
Sam (and his wife Alyssa, who I'd also had in class along with her sibling) is another person I've "found" on Facebook. Imagine my delight to see that they'd ended up together!
The other delight is seeing the way Sam interacts with his boys. The image to the right is from this past Fall and was one of the first I saw of them. The image above is from their first camping trip as a family. There are other images of the boys crossing the stream, ankle deep in the water and having a delicous time of it. But this one...I can almost hear the giggling and I'm not sure if it is them or me who is having the most fun.