Our conversation turned to college too (I am the college counselor as my "other" job), and I had emailed her earlier today in response to her question about her current GPA. She was honest with me tonight that reading my email with her GPA was hard for her -- she had hoped it would have been higher. We talked about this and the ramifications. These are often the hardest conversations I have with my seniors because I strive to always be honest and realistic about admission requirements while also keeping students' goals strong and positive. It is a balance I worry about all of the time.
In the end what I gained from tonight was a reminder about how my job -- as teacher, as college counselor, as whatever I am at that moment with that student -- is really about the individuals I get the privelege to work with. Sitting down face-to-face with my students whenever I can is something that for me can never be replaced. Technology (email in this case, but blogs, Twitter, Facebook) can and do keep connections alive, but it is talking with my students where I do best. It is how I can know a student is upset about her GPA and I can respond as needed for that situation. I can't always fix it, but the personal moment together matters.
I would not have spent my evening any other way.