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Sunday, 26 April 2015


He calls himself my favourite student and in some ways he may be right. His name is Melvin and he comes from Buchans Junction, Newfoundland. He is the oldest in his family and an avid woodsman. Melvin traveled on the bus to school and stayed in school for lunch every day. I had to do the same during my childhood so I always had an affinity for the bus students.

Melvin was quiet, perceptive, versed in outdoor life as was his father. He loved the woods and everything involved with it. Having grown up with a love of nature as well, I understood Melvin's love of outdoor life. He respected the environment and understood nature. This appealed to my love of science, especially biology. I think Melvin and I understood each other somehow.

I came to know Melvin during lunch times at school and he was in my class as well. He had so much potential. Anyone who respected and understood nature as he did was capable of doing well in life. I learned from him too. One Saturday, several other students and I went into the woods with Melvin. He showed us the animal traps set in the woods around his community, how and where to set them, how often to check them. He knew the species of trees and talked about the beavers and their dam. He could easily start a camp fire and survive in the woods if needed.

He finished school and left the Junction. We kept in touch for a time but eventually lost contact. Then several years ago, we made contact again. He used his ability, did well, married and had a son. He still hunts, fishes and periodically pans for gold in Alaska. After selling a business, life is less hectic and he and his wife travel every year.

There was/is a connection between Melvin and I, and in that sense he was one of my favourite students. This is for you, my friend!


Unknown said...

Great blog today Marie. I think you were one of Melvin's students as well!

Marie Smith said...

How true!