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Life is a Cycle
July 30, 2022

Within my age group, discussions of the parent becoming the parent-ed are common, but this story is about the teacher becoming the student; the student becoming the teacher. 

Back in 2014

High School students dressed up for career day.
Kaiti and Friends, Granny Day, 2014.
High School Students
More shenanigans with the girls in my Senior Comp. Career Day, Kaiti as a photojournalist.

I retired from teaching high school English in 2014. Kaiti, an Early College student with whom I bonded over subject matter and mutual admiration, graduated from Center Grove in 2014 and went on to study journalism at Ball State University. She was one of those kids who showed up in my room often. Not only for the electives I taught, but to hang out. Those little gaggles of kids who used to come “bug” me during my prep period are one of the few things I truly miss about teaching. 

So when I ran into Kaiti at my gym, we were excited to see each other. 

Turns out, she is a freelance photojournalist with her own photography business. 

Photos and Blogging

Now, I must tell you, my biggest challenge with this blog is the photographs. I prefer to use my own whenever possible, and I love the creative process: taking them, selecting photos for posts, and playing with them in the one editing tool I know; however, I have shed more tears about finding, sizing, and proper placement of photos for this blog than you can imagine. 

So when Kaiti told me what she did for a living, I asked her immediately if she’d be willing to help me with photos for my blog. 

“Sure,” she said. It was a different kind of “sure” than I’ve seen before. Her eyes lit up.

It’s not that I don’t have a wonderful community of support. I do. My web designer, who has taught me so much, made a 15-minute training video for me regarding photos. My kind neighbor, who knows her stuff, recently invested an entire afternoon helping me. My kids have pitched in to help multiple times. A niece has helped in the past. But come posting day, I almost always end up frustrated.

This week, Kaiti and I met at my neighborhood coffee shop so I could show her my process and see if she was willing to work with me. I watched her click and study and look things up and figure things out. She never cussed or threw anything or even whined. This always amazes me. 

Best Offer I’ve Had All Day

She offered that I just send her my pictures and she’d resize and shape them and store them in the photo library of my blog. 

Um, yes. I cannot even tell you what a difference this will make in my life and I pray this arrangement works out. To that end, I vow, never again, to forget my wallet when I offer to take her for coffee. 

How Cool Is This?

I’m sure you can understand my immense pride when she mentioned she was headed out to a photo assignment. I asked her who she was working for and she casually answered The New York Times. “The New York Times?” I confirmed. “Yeah,” she said. “Photographing the protests about the special session to debate Indiana abortion laws.”

Kaiti claims I had a positive influence on her education, but also had an impact on her outlook on life. And here she is, teaching me, coaching me, helping me. Having a huge impact on my life. Truly, life is a cycle.

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  1. Incredible!! I am also curious about what your photo sizing challenges are! I just size all my photos to 500pixels wide and it all seems to work out.

    • Thank you, Kerry! I’ll explain my whole picture sizing saga with you sometime.

  2. Love this so much, Debi!

    • Thank you, Hannah! This is one of the best perks of being a teacher, right?

  3. How awesome! What a tribute to you as her mentor and now; you are definitely reaping what you’ve sown by learning from her. Humbling, rewarding, happy for you both!!! ??

    • Thank you, Joni! I love the idea of reaping what has been sown!

  4. A beautiful post about the cycle of life…so blessed for the two of you to reconnect.?

    • Thank you, Judy! I’m sure you’ve had similar encounters.


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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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