To The Teacher Who Challenged Me

To The Teacher Who Challenged Me

It was difficult at the time, but thank you.

To the teacher who pushed me past my limits,

I entered your class early in high school, still bright eyed and ambitious. I had always done well in your subject and was excited. This did not last long. My favorite subject soon became the one I dreaded the most. This began when I received my first essay back from you. I received 65. Never in my life had I expected to see a grade that low on a piece of writing, because writing had always come easily to me.

Then we had our first vocabulary quiz. That grade was a little bit higher, but not by much. I teetered between a C and a B minus all semester. I went from a straight A student, to a student struggling to maintain that C all semester. I did not know what I was doing wrong, but at that point I lost all ambition to try because I felt like no matter what I did, I would receive a low grade. For that, I am truly sorry.

I am not just apologizing to you, but also to myself. I know that if I put the effort in, I would have enjoyed the class and done well. In a sense, this class taught me more than the classes I excelled in. You did not just let me skate by with halfway decent work. You saw me reaching the next level that I did not even know existed. I was able to get through classes in this subject without even trying before, but you wanted more from me.

I used to be able to write a paper about an article or chapter that I had not read, but that was not the case in your class- more than I deemed myself capable of. I remember how excited I got when I earned a B plus on a paper. It was the highest grade I received on a piece of my writing in your course. I think it was at that moment I realized that I could turn it around and I earned a B for the semester.

I struggled, plain and simple. I lost all ambition to study or try on assignments. Quizzes that could have been easy A’s were B’s and C’s. Out of all of the challenging upper level courses that I enrolled in during high school, none of them met the level of difficulty that this one did. It did not make sense to me. Those classes contained harder content, but this one challenged me the most. I do not think it was the class. I believe it was the fact that I did not believe I could do well. You did, and your comments on my assignments were geared toward me improving, but I never took advantage of them. I went into the next level of this subject the next year with a sense of fear, but I left that course with a high grade. That also made no sense to me at the time.

Even though I did not put all of my effort into this course, I learned more than I could have ever expected. I learned a lot about myself. Sure, this is a course that had come naturally to me for many years, but I could not just skate by. There is always room to grow and improve if you are willing to try. This lead me to try harder than ever before the following year. I applied your critiques and words of encouragement. It might have been a year late, but I did it. My senior year, I enrolled in the AP course and earned college credit for my freshman year of college. I owe it all to you. It was not the lessons you taught me about the course itself, but rather, the lessons you taught me about myself. I am able to improve and the limit of my abilities is boundless. With a little bit of effort, ambition, and confidence, I can do anything.

Thank you,

Your former student
Cover Image Credit: Clip Art Fest

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.


I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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