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Here's To You, Mrs. Cavanaugh (and Mrs. Jones, and Miss Berry, and Mr. Tamborrino)

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Here's To You, Mrs. Cavanaugh (and Mrs. Jones, and Miss Berry, and Mr. Tamborrino)

I'm reading "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - And It's All Small Stuff."  It's an easy read, a self-help book full of tips on how to chill out and live a better life.

One of the things it says to do is to write a letter to someone you appreciate and are grateful for (actually, you are supposed to do this on a regular basis - in case you were wondering).

When I think about things I am grateful for, and people I appreciate, I always have my English teachers in the back of my head.  Because truly, this blog is an extension of something I love doing - writing - and I can honestly say that my English teachers, ALL OF THEM, from middle school through my senior year of High School, were stellar.  I mean it.  If every student could have had my English teachers, the world would be a well-written place.

Over at SITS (a blogging community for women), they have a "Fall Back Into Blogging" event going on that involves a writing prompt each day.  Today's prompt is "school" - and so I'm going to kill two birds with one stone and write a thank-you letter to my English teachers and participate in today's "school" prompt over at SITS (multi-tasker, HOLLA!).

Before I get started, you need to know what I looked like in High School, right??  And on a side note, I wanted to show you a picture of me and my friends in 8th grade, when I was extra awesome-looking with permed bangs...but I posted it on facebook and of said friends untagged themselves - LAME - so I'm going to be cool and not use that picture.
That's a PICTURE of a picture.  As in, a Polaroid picture...and not because we were being cute, but because that's what we had when I was in High School.  And Birkenstocks.  We also had Birckenstocks.  And plum lipstick.  And sheep.  And I didn't crop out the dirt on the side because I like to keep it real.

So here it goes.

6th Grade
Dear Mrs. Stamm - Thank you for being so creative.  I still remember learning about Greek Gods and getting to draw our favorite one (I drew the bull).  I love that our English class included fun things, like coloring.  Also...I just realized that I have you to thank for the sheep picture above because you were the one that encouraged me to join 4H in the first place!

7th & 8th Grade
Dear Mrs. Cavanaugh - Thank you for teaching me, "If you can't think of something to write, lie.  Make something up."  Honestly...this advice has stuck with me and I can think of many an English class over the years where everyone around me sat in silence, thinking about what to write, while I penned away what was surely an elaborate bunch of drivel...but completed the assignment nonetheless.  That's not to say I was telling lies...rather, I just started writing about something!  Even today, when I find my fingers paused over my keyboard as I wait for the words to come, I remind myself...just write something...and it always turns into something more.

Also...I remember "is, am, are, was, what, were, be, being, been" - I don't remember what that means, just that you forced us to memorize it and recite it to the class.

9th Grade
Dear Mr. Tamborrino - You were kind of a perv (I remember you telling a classmate the only reason her older sister had passed your class was because she was pretty), but that's okay.  You taught me about compound sentences.  I went to class for your sense of humor and light-hearted teaching; however, I stayed for the compound sentences.

10th Grade
Dear Mrs. Jones - Thank you for teaching me how to spell "separate" (it's NOT "seperate") and for teaching me how to take pretty notes.  I thought of you last weekend, in fact, as I took notes (actual ones, on paper) for the first time in, oh, YEARS.  They were pretty, and doodle-y, and fun.  Also, thanks for always encouraging me to dig a bit deeper, write a bit more, and figure out what all those colors symbolized in "The Great Gatsby".

11th Grade
Dear Miss Berry - Thank you for making us call you "Miss" and for being serious about it.  To this day, I am careful to make sure I call people by what they want to be called!  Also, thanks for teaching me what "stream of consciousness" meant and letting us write that way every now and then (did you see my blog's tagline?).

Dear My 12th Grade English Teacher Whose Name I've Forgotten (shame on me, I know!) - Thank you for teaching me about poetry!  Your poetry lessons are the only ones I remember.  Also, I have a confession to make.  For our final, we had to randomly draw the name of a poem from an envelope.  You taught us all about these poems.  We had to know about the poem's structure, symbolism, and details of the poet's life.  I only studied one poem - Ode to a Grecian Urn - and per chance, drew that from the envelope.  It was my finest moment in High School Final History.  I rambled off all the details and symbols and about that poem and you thought I was amazing.  If I had pulled any other poem out of that envelope, I would have failed.  Like, without a doubt, with a capital "F."  Also...(maybe the reason I blocked your name from my memory is because I can't handle all this guilt)...I didn't write a paper that was required for a final.  I just didn't turn one in.  You thought you lost it and I let you believe that and told you I got a B.  I'm sorry (no, really...I am sorry).

So, English teachers of Vista Unified School District...thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you one and all.

If you want to see more school stories, check out the other bloggers who have linked up over at SITS!

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At September 24, 2012 at 3:29 PM , Blogger Heidi Nelson said...

Carrie- My favorite teacher is also my English teacher. He still teaches in our local school. It's nice to get to know him as an adult.

I enjoyed the many different reasons you enjoyed each teacher. My favorite is that you came for the teacher's humor but stayed for the compound sentences.
Thank you for sharing!

At September 24, 2012 at 9:37 PM , Blogger Carrie said...

I am going to have to check to see if any of these teachers are still teaching (it's been awhile...!).

Thanks for reading! :)


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