Dear Ms. Neukirk:
Loner girl here. I wanted to admit that I took your high school drafting class with ulterior motives. Yes, I snuck into the office and looked up my would-be boyfriend’s intended class schedule and your class was the only one that worked with mine. How was I to know that following my high school crush would lead me to the most significant teacher in my life.
You weren’t like all my other teachers. There was something in your manner, your bearing that made me think of you as a warrior/teacher hybrid. My attendance and performance in any class was generally based on how compelling the subject was to me. With you, however, I found that a teacher could be the most compelling part of a class. It turned out that I loved the rigor of drafting, the necessary precision and clarity. It didn’t take long before my focus shifted to the execution of my work. You respected performance and I soon earned the right to go on the field trips to construction sites and architectural tours with your more advanced students. You even allowed me to drive the group.
I also wanted to clarify something, I cut my other classes all the time. I had nothing against school or the people in it. I just found wandering around or lying outside under a tree with a story in my head was far more interesting. That once, though, I cut your class. I remember the disappointed look on your face when you came and found me and brought me back to the drafting room. I didn’t want to cut but I had an english paper due and my vision wasn’t quite cooked yet. Honestly, that was the only thing in the world that would have made me miss your class.
My less than stellar attendance in my other classes led to less than stellar grades and my chances for graduating were clearly teetering on the fence. Enter hero stage left. I believe to this day that you giving me the school award for excellence in drafting tipped the scale in my favor. Enter hero stage right. When I told you that I wasn’t thinking about furthering my education, you walked me to your car, drove me to the community college, and stood over me while I filled out and submitted the application. It’s important that you know that you were right. College was exactly where I needed to be always learning something new.
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