I can't think of a subject (about myself) that could be harder to write.
Unless it is my current checking account balance and weight.
I have thought long and hard on this subject. Of course, being a daughter, wife, mother, aunt..I have lots of memories. Good and bad.
But the memory I am going to share with you is one that occurred in college.
Spring semester, 2009
A little back history: My last class of the day during my first semester was Intro to Education. The man that taught (teaches) the class is in his mid-60s, a veteran, and gives a slightly gruff, "I have seen a million folks like you. You can't tell me or show me anything new," vibe.
During the reading of the syllabus, he makes an emphasis on the end of the semester project. Not to get started on it, but to be having it in the back of our minds. He then proceeds to tell us (read:scare the crap out of me) that if we get up to teach the lesson and he doesn't like it, he will tell us to sit down. He isn't afraid to tell us what he thinks. That stuck with me. May have been why I pulled an all-nighter (even though my project was done) to tweek it, almost broke my leg two days before I was to go on, and lost ten pounds that week due to...ahem, digestional distress.
And just for the record, he never told anyone to sit down. In any of his classes I was in. But I have it on good authority that he WILL do it. And has since I was there.
Long story short, he is nothing but a big teddy bear. Not a touchy-feely guy (this is college after all) but he does care for the students that are obviously working. If you are having a problem, he will work with you. I had three semesters in a row with him.
On the fourth semester, I honestly felt lost. I had taken all three classes that he taught. It didn't seem right not to be in Mr. Matlock's class at some point in the day. And yes, that is his name.
About three or four weeks into that semester, he sees me from the doorway of the classroom I am in and speaks to me. I walk out into the hall and answer his question. To this day, I can't recall what it was. All I remember saying is, "My day doesn't seem right..." and the next thing I knew, he put his arms around me and gave me a hug. Not a pat. Not just a little one-armed shrug, but a full envelope. Like a father would give his daughter. He let go, smiled at me, patted me once more on the shoulder and walked away.
That one gesture, so unexpected, meant more to me than all my A's and the nomination for Educator of the Year.