Slice of 11th grade.

Justin Moore nailed it when saying that if heaven wasn’t so far away, life would me a whole ‘lot different. As I’m trucking through the muck of my September, I wish like all hell that I could call my mentor, my true mentor, and vent about my day, or ask for help, or share a laugh over a classroom anecdote. After three long years, I’m left with a blank page and a healing heart. There’s no address in the stars, but if there were, this is what would be on its way.

Dear Kathy,
Three years and a tattoo later, you’ve found your way into my classroom once again. Our first essay goal this year is to write a personal narrative about someone who has inspired us, and, of course, you’re the first person that comes to my mind. I told my students that, as they write their essays, I shall write mine, so for the next few weeks, you’ll be my muse. I want my students to incorporate as many details as they can about the person they have chosen.  I want to be able to picture them.. hear them, smell them, get the whole gist of who they are. To do so, I need to provide the same. That’s what got me thinking about you today.

When the world is quite enough that my own thoughts are silenced, I can hear you. Your good morning was unmatched, so vivacious for 7am and for the first cup of coffee. It even echoed throughout the English corridor and down the front stairwell. I remember always thinking, “YESSSSSS, V’s here today! It’s going to be a good day.” That hello saved so many mornings, including many of my own.

Your laugh was always joyous, full of emotion, and never sarcastic. When you laughed, your whole face lit up. You tilted your head back and let out a loud “Hah!” before continuing in heartfelt chuckles. Even the most scared of students in our third period found ways to giggle at your merriment.

Your room at the top of the stairs felt like home to me. By the end of senior year, I spent more time there than anywhere else. It wasn’t decorated as if Lakeshore vomited its catalog all over, nor was it empty. Your perfect script, the handwriting I now walk with everyday, adorned the chalkboard in the front: your daily plans, warm-ups, vocabulary terms, important reminders. . all there, clear as crystal. You sat on top of a desk in the third row, something I catch myself doing daily. You sat with us, you worked with us, and you stayed with us.

The shades were always up because you loved the light. I see the importance of that now.

Whether I’m writing an essay or searching for help in the dark, thank you for always reminding me of the good times and the moments that matter most.

Infinite love and eternal thanks,


2 thoughts on “Slice of 11th grade.

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