I had quite a blow today.
I found out that my favorite high school teacher, the one who left the biggest mark on me passed away today. She was the one who really taught me to write. But she didn’t just teach me to write, she taught me so much more than that. She and I had a lot in common. Humor wise, interest wise… yet I don’t know what to write.
I was looking forward to seeing her this Spring break, I wanted to hug her and go out to lunch just to talk. She had lived an amazing life judging by the stories I had heard, she was a DJ in college, though she never told me her DJ name. She planned to retire in Scotland, to live in a cabin in the quiet of the Scottish moors. She drove all kinds of cars, lived a crazy college life, wrote under pseudonyms and taught high school classes.
And now… she can’t.
I’m in shock. I have the shakes, I cried softly earlier, but the tears have passed and I am left shaking.
I attempted to write a song to her, a memorial in my language but I couldn’t express myself in it. I will write one for her, some day when I am more proficient and fluent in it. She was a major proponent of my language and my world when I began working on it in school.
She had the same humor I did, she kept a small corkboard of stuff behind her desk and I remember noticing just how much of it was stuff from me. She had a picture of Bruce Willis and the kid from The 6th Sense, but instead it said “I see dumb people…” or the modified Far Side cartoons which I gave her after pulling an all-nighter on one of her papers. And the photo of me and my friends at the Renaissance faire….
She gave me so much in school through her help and advice. She taught me to write, really – I learned so much grammar and English writing style in her class I literally changed my style during that year in high school, perhaps instead I should say I developed my style.
During my senior year of high school she was the one who Okayed me to take two independent study periods in her room even though she wasn’t there. She would check in on me occasionally but for the most part she knew that since I was working on my world that I wouldn’t want to be bothered.
She understood me and I understood her.
Looking back on the time I knew her, if I could wish one thing or change one thing, I wish we could have gone out to lunch and just talked.
Ms. Parrish, you will forever be carried with me as the special teacher in high school. May your soul forever rest in the highlands of Heaven.
Who was your favorite teacher? What did they teach? What’s your story? Theirs?
It was quite a blow for me to hear this today, but I’m curious to hear the stories of other people.