I had planned to write this blog post on Sunday to be posted on today.
Then today I got news that I haven't fully comprehended. One of the three teachers from high school who had inspired me to become a teacher passed away yesterday morning. She was diagnosed with IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) which is a fatal disease.
What can I say at Ms. Adams? She made learning about history fun. Dates and names might not be remembered but a love of knowing what happened before I was alive still resides in me.
"Ring Around the Rosie" will always remind me of her. She taught the class that was talking about the Black Plague. The Rosies were put around the people inflicted with the plague. They thought it would help the sick person who was ill get better.
Henry VIII has always been an interest of mine because of Ms. Adams. I loved learning about his 6 wives. Anne Boyelen has always been a favorite historical figure. She was beheaded because she was not able to conceive a son for Henry. However, her daughter Elizabeth because a major leader in England. I love reading about the Tudor era because of her teaching.
One of my favorite memories is from the Christmas season of 1990. She taught her students how to play "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" (at least I think that was the song) through our nose. We then walked through the library to another teacher's room. Then the class serenaded the other class.
20 years after graduation, I found her once again through Facebook. She would always say she taught in my hometown and then later I got to teach in her hometown. She would refer to me as teacher friend. On my birthday less than 2 weeks ago, she wrote "Happy Birthday teacher friend." I will cherish those words.
A year or two ago, I saw her walking around town with Cooper (her dog named after Sheldon Cooper). I turned my car around and talked to her. It was so good to catch up with her.
In January of this year, I called her up and asked if I could wait out a snow storm at her house. We ended up talking for about an hour. I will cherish that time with her.
I've been a teacher for the last 14 years. My wish is that I'm a teacher like she was to me. An inspiration - A believer in her students' dreams. She accepted students no matter how much of a misfit or awkward they were. I know I was seriously a misfit. She was goofy. Teaching doesn't always have to be that serious. According to her laughter was the best medicine.
I want my students and other students I've worked with say "I inspired them."
Laugh today and everyday for Ms. Adams. That way her spirit will live on. Realize life is not that serious and it's okay to let your hair down every once in a while.
Ms. Adams - Thank you for inspiring an awkward teenager to follow her dreams. There are not enough words to say how much I appreciate you. Thank you!