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Sincerely, Me

posted Mar 14, 2019, 2:31 PM by Monica DiTomassi

It was one of those late-night conversations. You know, the ones where it starts out as a rant about an assignment and turns into a passionate scream-fest about human rights and equality. Although there was plenty of ranting about schoolwork and human rights (or lack thereof), the conversation switched to a sappy look back at high school. I know, high school was terrible for everyone. We all harbor bad memories from it but I think we need to move beyond bad and remember the education or rather the educators. Now, three years removed from high school, I am able to analyze what I did and who influenced me without feeling as if I’m suffering from a gentler form of PTSD. Personally, I have a list of about five teachers throughout my four years of high school whose voices creep into my subconscious when I need them most. So, I’m planning to email my teachers to tell them what an impact they had on me.

For example, I write all my essays in 12-point Garamond font until they’re ready to be handed in and need to be changed into Times New Roman. Why Garamond, you ask? Because my AP Language and Composition teacher, also known as Fazz, would have us hand in essays etched into stone rather than Times New Roman font. On the surface, it would seem that I just got attached to his preferences, but upon a deeper dig into my mind, I know that he was the first teacher to make me consider what a well-written essay could be and should be. Getting an A on an essay from Fazz was the equivalent to being told I had won some lottery to never receive spam calls ever again as far as I was concerned. I associate Garamond font with a Fazz-worthy essay. Each time I sit down to write, I ask myself “what would Fazz say about this sentence…this paragraph…this page?” and my essays are better because of it. He was the first person to know my path was to be an English major, even before I did. Fazz saw something in me that I was unaware of or just didn’t want to admit to myself. I think he deserves a whole lot more than a sentimental email from a former student but it’s the best I can offer.

Unfortunately, I have so many Fazz-worthy essays to write that I haven’t had the time to write the perfect email to him to tell him about how his lessons have stuck with me. Like how sometimes I reread my notes from his class or how I still write in Garamond or how I remember him reciting Fox in Socks while the book was worn like a hat because he knew it from memory. I even want to tell him about how his rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Ours” as if it were a dramatic monologue straight out of Shakespeare makes the song difficult to listen to without laughing. Once the semester ends, I’ll have the extra time I need to sit down and write. May is the perfect time to send out emails since the high schoolers are in school until June. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put a smile on my top five teachers’ faces with a simple email with weirdly specific anecdotes to prove they shaped me not only as a student but as a human being. I’m thankful to have been in their classes and was able to hear their lessons (school related or not). Frankly, they deserve to know their job as a teacher really is changing the world one student at a time.

I have little doubt that four years from now when I’m three years out of college, I’ll be sitting at my laptop writing emails to at least five Arcadia professors who have also shaped me in an equally important way as my high school teachers.