I was out last night and ran into my Grade 9 Drama and Religion Teacher. I think I had a tiny crush on her in grade 9 – not the “OMG You play for THAT team?” No, the kind of crush girls get on other girls when they are and do so many fabulous things. She was always dressed so stylishly, had a killer figure, was smart, funny and made me think. Reading over this I don’t think you believe me. It does sound like I had the OTHER kind of crush. Not true. She was a significant role model and mentor for me. The year was 1981.
Flash forward to 2011. She has GOT to be pushing the other side of 60. She was wearing knee-high red cowboy boots, a really cute cut above the knee denim skirt, a great rust red short jacket and she had a blonde bouncy pony tail. Clearly she has grayed but dyes it blonde. Same fabulous smile, and same great relationship with her students. I’m crushing again.
As mentors go, I never once saw her sad, angry or depressed. I knew plenty of teachers who were. I loved it when I could please her or make her laugh and it killed me the day I disappointed her. It was wonderful to see her still reaching out to her students and making them WANT to do better. I bet she has touch a 1000 lives and has no idea how she truly affected them in the long run.
Alex Anderson, a man who also had a profound influence on my life so far, explained to me about the ripple effect. A tiny pebble drops into the water and creates a ripple, many ripples grow from there. Each one affecting the before and after. The pebble is you or me. Think about how many lives you have touched. Good, bad or indifferent.
After seeing my Grade 9 Teacher, I thought about how she made me think, and how she may have been disappointed with path my life took after High School. I really hadn’t thought about her until yesterday when I saw her again. Now she is all I can think about. I am thinking about the choices I made and how the ripple effect touched the people around me.
2011 is laid out before me. I have some big choices to make. I hope I make the right kind of ripple.
Maybe I should buy a pair of red cowboy boots.