“I remember you as a darling six year old… the effort you made with me, looking into the mirror and shaping the words as I worked with you. When? At recesses of course! Those were the early days before there was any kind of assistance or special services in the schools… 1956, right? … I remember your Mom and your dear Dad very well as they brought you to school and explained your hearing journey to me and when it was discovered. They were wonderful parents and you were their all… next to God, of course… And yes, I remember how captivated I was by YOUR blue, beautiful, sparkling and gently piercing eyes, almost searching out the soul of an individual….little did I or anyone grasp why those precious eyes did so powerfully fix on the gaze, eyes and lips of the other. I remember your eyes always in their sparkle, your eyes were dancing eyes and I think from the lovely photos of you and John, they still are dancing…..”
“My rookie years taught me a great number of things. I had made enough blunders to know that excellence in the classroom doesn’t happen just because you desire it. Despite my good intentions, hard work, and innate talents, I would never become the teacher I wanted to be without the generous mentoring I received from many staff members at St. Benedict.… But the most significant lesson learned in these years came from my students. In their bewilderment and pain, they turned to me. They were not looking for pearls of wisdom that would fix their world; they turned to me for human comfort because they trusted me to be there for them, to offer understanding and support. I didn’t fully realize it then, but that was a glimpse into the heart of teaching.”
To be a teacher was always my dream. Often I would envision myself in a classroom discussing poetry and prose, and what the giants of literature were communicating to us. That was the goal for me.
This dream can be traced back to my early days in Our Lady of Lourdes elementary school in Waterloo. Often I would spend many enjoyable hours playing school with my best friend, Judy. We actually started our own library, putting the books in proper order, and then tried to sell them to other kids in the neighbourhood. I remember that we got 25 cents for each book sold.
Given my fascination with books, it should come as no surprise that my favourite subject in high school was English literature. My dream evolved once more as I set my sights on becoming a high school English teacher. With a lot of hard work I managed to graduate as an Ontario Scholar from St. Mary’s High School in Kitchener. Continue reading “A Dream Embraced”