by Jonathan from Colorado
I am who I am thanks to my Journalism teacher.
I walked into the room determined to prove to thousands of other people that they were wrong. A legend-ha! Surely they were mistaken. I HATE school. I HATE teachers. I am so bored that the countdown to graduation is on in earnest. Oh listen to them as they fawn all over her. How sick are they?
Okay so she can tell a joke. Big deal. Who cares? So what if she just said, “Let’s move on because I am boring myself so I know you must be bored.” Who says that?
Blah, blah, blah she is rattling on about something. Oh wait a minute; I had no idea that some photojournalist named Dan Eldon was stoned to death in Somalia for doing his job. How terrifyingly painful that must have been. The way she tells it, I can almost feel the first stone hit my head. I can smell the gunpowder from the helicopter fire. I can reach out and touch the fear of the four journalists who run through the streets. I can taste the excitement of the mob as they attack. How does she do that? How does she make me care?
“Eldon journalism” is what she calls what her students do. They write about those who need help and those who help them. Their goal is to make others care. Where does she get off making me care?
People have always said that I was a good kid who did his work. I have always gotten a good grade in conduct. Now I question whether that is all there is to life. Act nice, pretend to pay attention and the teacher will leave you alone. That has always been my motto. Now I am not so sure. How dare she make me think?
Invisible Children-who are they? The nerds at school, is that who she means? They are invisible-ha ha. Are you kidding? She is actually going to sleep outside in a field with some students to show the world the plight of these Ugandan kids? Who does that? Anyway, why should I care? She wants me to go. How dare she ask me?
Who is this person who is willing to do what others only talk about? Is this what they mean when they say lead by example? Is this what they mean when they say, to get respect, you have to give respect?
I guess you know by now that I am talking about a teacher. That seems like such a simple word. It does not quite fit the definition that I had witnessed for my first 10 years of school. This person doesn’t just talk, give tests and grades and move us through like cattle. She cares. What a simple concept.
I have known some teachers who care but this is more. This is making me care. To care about more than just my little place on this planet. To care more about others. She is making me want to be somebody. I want to be on her “Wall of Fame.” I want to be the person who makes a difference. Will she share her secret? I know that listening to her and seeing all that her other “kids” have done, I want to do that. I want to be in the ‘Hilife-family.’
The best thing of all is that I know I can. I can go forward and practice the “Golden Rule” as she does without even knowing it. She treats us all like she would like to be treated. She makes us believe that we can do anything. She constantly says that she has faith in us. She is not my parent. She is my teacher. But somehow I feel as though she is as nurturing as my mother, as strong as my father and as kind as my grandmother.
Today I work with Doctors Without Borders. One day, when I am known for the great things that I have done, I will give a speech in front of thousands of people. They will cheer for me. I will tell them how my goodness started in Journalism when I became a Jameson Journalist. Thanks Mrs. J. I will repay you by leading the best life that I can. I will honor you by telling my grandchildren about you. I will always have you in my heart and in my mind.
Page created on 3/27/2008 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 3/27/2008 12:00:00 AM
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