Rose Sleigh has touched many lives

Rose Sleigh has touched many lives

I met Rose Sleigh as a student in her AP English class at Torrey Pines High School in 1976. Today, I am 62 years old, Rose is about to enter her 97th year, and we have been dear friends for the whole of my adult life.

Perhaps Rose has been your friend for some time as well. Maybe you were her student, and she helped you discover a passion for learning and thinking and writing, took the time to get to know you, stood by you through a difficult time, enriched your life—maybe even saved your life. My sense is that Rose has helped to save a number of lives.

I’ve communicated with quite a few of Rose’s students over the years, and the consensus is that Rose was both unique and uniquely effective in reaching her students, in challenging them, and in creating a sense of inclusion and care. This seems to have been equally true in Utah, at San Dieguito, and at Torrey Pines.

Rose Sleigh stories abound, often focusing on the more unorthodox approaches that Rose sometimes took to wake her students up, pull them out of their daily routines, and challenge them to really think, and to care. And then of course there were the pink bedroom slippers that often accompanied her feet to classes.

Truth to tell, I didn’t love Rose right away. Perhaps she challenged my own conceits regarding the quality of my writing; maybe it was something about her forthright manner; or it may have been simply a function of my teenaged self-absorption. It took her a few months to win me over. When I’d sit in front of school at the end of the day playing my guitar, Rose would always stop and chat. She invited our class to her house for dinner. And we shared a love of Marie Callender’s—we’d go for a meal once in a while.

I was in jazz band one early April afternoon when I was called to the office to find that my stepfather, who worked for Caltrans, had been killed on the job. The next day in class Rose knew that I wasn’t right, and she asked how I was doing. After learning of this tragedy, she was a great support to both me and my mother, who ended up sharing an enduring friendship with Rose. Her care and concern cemented one of the great relationships of my life. For years, while Rose could still walk, she would come to my house for dinner every Sunday, and she shared many holidays with us. She became a ‘bonus grandmother’ to my kid. She is an essential part of our family, and I visit her nearly every day. Mostly, I read to her.

While Rose’s mind is still pretty darn sharp, she has faced her share of health problems and significant losses, including having to leave her home in Solana Beach for a board and care home in Carlsbad. I am writing this today as someone who has been honored to help her navigate various changes and difficulties.

The fact is that Rose is going to outlive her money in the near future. She can afford to stay in the lovely home where she currently resides for about another year. If this campaign is successful we can ensure that, with her monthly income, help from her children, and from you and me, Rose will be able to stay in this home indefinitely.

Our goal, through this GoFundMe campaign, is to raise at least $50,000, which should cover at least one additional year in her new home.

I know I’m not the only one who has been touched by Rose’s passion for teaching and learning. If she also helped you develop into a thriving adult, perhaps you will consider returning the favor now that she is the one in need. And be assured that 100% of funds received (minus minimal GoFundMe fees) will go directly to Rose’s care. If funds remain at the time of Rose’s death, a scholarship fund will be established in her name for students in the San Dieguito High School District.

Rose is an amazing person – she still tutors foreign UCSD post-graduate science students in English! – and I want to ensure that she can continue to live safely in pleasant surroundings with caring helpers.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions, or if you would like me to share a message with Rose.

Thanks very much. And please spread the word to others who might like to help.

Joshua Lazerson
[email redacted]



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Organizer

Joshua Lazerson 
Organizer
Encinitas, CA