Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Meant To...

My high school English teacher Mrs. Lehman retired this June. I had a big plan at the end of this school year to send her a flower assortment of only three flowers with a card that simply said, "You made a difference."

The move got in the way, so I was never able to make the proper arrangements. I'm sorry about that. I meant to...

Mrs. Lehman was a great inspiration to me. She introduced me to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the wonders of English and literature. She awarded me "Most Valuable Staffer" for our journalism class and paper. I still remember more real facts from Honors U.S. History from her class than from others (like the fact that 342 cases of tea were destroyed during the Boston Tea Party). I ended up changing my major in my first horrible year at college at NIU from business administration to English because I wanted to get back to what I really enjoyed and my English classes were all I cared about.

She made a difference in my life. Even if I was the only one, which I'm sure I wasn't, I wanted her to know that.

Why a flower arrangement with only three flowers? She actually gave me a graduation card, which I still have in my yearbook, that stated, "Considering that the first time I ever talked to you, it was to give you a detention, I'd say things improved between us." (More on that story another time.) Inside the card was three single dollar bills. Others probably thought it was a little amount. I knew it as a teacher that didn't have to give cards or money, and the fact that she gave me three dollars for each of our three classes together. Like all she taught me in English, I understood the deeper meaning.

And I owe it all to her. She made a difference. If I can be half the teacher she was, then I will be satisfied.

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