To The Teacher Who Helped Shape Me

To The Teacher Who Helped Shape Me

A simple 'thank you' doesn't do you justice.

You didn't know what you were doing, but I sure noticed.

I didn't have the privilege to meet you until senior year. I walked into your class on the first day and not going to lie, I was a little taken back by you. You have such a strong personality and are so outgoing that I didn't know if we'd get along. Boy, I was incredibly wrong.

SEE ALSO: I Will Be A Teacher For All The Right Reasons

You instantly became one of my favorite teachers. I'd look forward to your class every day, not only due to the fact that I had it with some of my best friends, but because I got to learn from you.

You're the reason I'm able to get up in front of a room of people and speak without fear. You're the reason I came out of my bubble and started to be more outgoing. You're the reason I'm not scared to voice my opinion. You're the reason I've taken a new perspective on things and am no longer stuck in my closed-minded ways. Every single day, you were teaching me something more than just English. You were teaching me to find myself. You taught me to enjoy every single day. You recognized the bad days I was having and helped managed to switch them into good ones. You taught me an abundance of life lessons. You didn't realize that you were doing so, but I'm forever grateful I had you as a teacher.

I'm also not the only one who thinks this about you. A few former students had some kind words to say...

"He definitely genuinely cared about us. Not only just us, but he cared about our futures. It was obvious. I appreciated that because being 'just kids' no one ever seemed to care. He was different, he made us feel special. He also brought me out of my comfort zone and helped me become more social with my peers." -Adam Sandage

"He allowed me to write deeply, think complex. He taught me to enjoy every single moment life throws at me. Mr. Bennett helped me prepare for college with how to take notes, study easily, etc. However, the most important thing he taught me was to pursue things I enjoy the most, because eventually life will intervene and you won't be able to have forever. For example, family, current friends, hobbies, etc. In addition, he also warned me to not take a loan out for a car." -Josh Grubbs

"He was one of the best teachers really. He was one of the only ones who tried to get involved and to be 'cool'. He was our friend along with our teacher. I respect him for that. Also, he's a pretty awesome neighbor to have." -Steven Smith

"He influenced my life a lot. Not only by his teaching skills, but how he was our teacher and our friend. He was always so kind and helpful. He took his time with me and he taught me things about life that I didn't know I needed to hear. He had us listen and analyze meaningful music and that opened my eyes. At the end of the year, he sang to us a song about how special life is and it made us, especially me, feel like he was someone we would never forget." -Hannah Craft

"First off, he was young so he was easy to relate to and he was very understanding. He was just really down to Earth about everything. He was one of the few high school teachers that told you 'I'm going to prepare you for college' and actually did it. He didn't lie to us about how 'hard' college would be our first year. He most impacted me in the way that he taught. He taught me a lot of valuable things about writing, thinking critically and just helped me become a better person. Just an awesome guy all around." -Addison Moore

"Mr. Bennett was a teacher that let every student know they were accepted and equal. Students that weren't even his own were impacted by his kind presence and fun methods. Being taught by him has changed many students' outlook on learning. He even made learning about sushi exciting. He prompted us to look deeper into the meaning of everything. He taught us not to see unnecessary differences that separates most of society today, whether that's class, race, gender or anything else. He made everyone feel equal and he wouldn't tolerate anything less. His class was safe and that made it all the easier to learn. Mr. Bennett is truly an unforgettable teacher that incorporated life lessons in everyday scholar education." -Caprese Parks

"My favorite memory of Mr. B was when we would sit in groups and have to talk about The Great Gatsby. I never ever talked and then one day he threw the stuffed heart at me (signaling me to talk) and boom. I had to talk. He asked me what my opinion was and I gave it. His response was just huh okay and then we moved on. No one tried to argue with me. I was worried that he thought I was stupid. He asked me to stay after class and he told me I had a great opinion and that he wished I would talk more in class. I still didn't after that day because I hate group work, but I always think about him thinking I was smart and good enough to talk in class. I always made 100's on all of my tests in there and he picked on me constantly. I remember my favorite day in his class. I was studying for another class and he let me get up and draw a diagram of a heart on the board and he just sat down and let me teach an anatomy lesson. He always made me feel special and smart, and for that Mr. B will always hold a special place in my heart." -Taylor Page

"Mr. Bennett was more than just an English teacher. He was a life teacher. Mr. B taught us perspective that every high school senior needs to take with them into the world. He taught his students to stop looking at things as "black and white" and look at them with flexibility for what they are. Because of him, I have found an entire new, blossoming world of interests that involve various forms of art. I now can look at the world through open-minded eyes and spend more time enjoying life rather than analyzing it. Mr. Bennett is no doubt a person I will always remember and draw concepts from throughout the rest of my adult life. You've taught me numerous things that I've used in just 7 months I've been at college and each time I flash back to sitting in your class." -Matney Davis

I hope this helps you realize the impact you left on all of us. It's been almost a year since any of us have had you as a teacher and we're still this grateful. We will never forget you. You're the teacher that every single student needs to have at least once in their lives, Bennett. I start every single day out with seeing that buckeye and knowing that it's going to be a good day.

To the teacher who helped shape me into the person I have become today, thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Karlee Wright

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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10 Things Economics Majors Want You To Know

For the MOST part, it isn't that bad.


I decided to become an economics major the day I started college — I know, it wasn't easy for me to decide. Well, technically the real reason why I even chose the major to begin with was that I was undecided when applying for colleges. I was, and still am, an indecisive person.

When I saw economics as one of the majors at Stony Brook, I thought it was something I was interested in. After all, it was the "study of markets and the behaviors of people in that same market." Besides psychology and philosophy (the two majors my parents didn't want me to study), I then chose econ. While it wasn't a piece of cake, it wasn't too challenging either. Here are a couple things we all want so desperately to say.

1. It's not all math, don't worry

While so many people tend to think that economics is all math and no fun, I beg to differ. As I mentioned above, it is the "study of the behavior of people in the market," so while it is equations and statistics, it is also observing how people treat prices and products.

2. It's not difficult to understand

I don't understand why parents think that if you're majoring in econ, you're pretty much signing up to fail all your courses. If they actually took the course, they would understand that it isn't the economic theory you need to understand, but how people react to changes in the stock market.

3. Majoring in econ isn't the same thing as majoring in business

When I tell people I'm an econ major, they immediately say, "Oh, business?" And then I squeeze the urge to yell in their face that I said "ECON, ECON, NOT BUSINESS." Then they continue to say they know someone that majors in business, and then ask if I know the person. The annoyances then continue. Econ is the study of markets. Business is the study of being an entrepreneur. Totally two different things. Yes, they are co-dependent, but they are not the SAME thing.

4. Please don't rely on me to do your taxes or calculate tips at a restaurant

I hate it when everyone just stares at me when the check comes. I regret telling people I'm an econ major at that point. Because I don't know how to tell them I don't learn how to do taxes or calculate tips in class, that's what finance majors do. AGAIN, not the same thing.

5. I know most of us are Asian, but don't be racist

Don't come up to me, ask me what my major is, and automatically assume that I'm an international student. It really sucks. I have to then correct them and say I'm not, and then have them walk away.

6. One of the prime motives is because we want to learn game theory

How we play games is vital to econ majors, and it does involve heavy readings of game theory books.

7. We mostly won't do econ during grad school

Because grad school is a time where we want to actually exercise our skills, it isn't a time to dawdle and major in the same things as we did in undergrad. We're actually adults by then, and we most likely will resort to marketing, sales, or advertising agencies. At least I want to work at Instagram HQ someday.

8. Our classes never have curves

Finals season is always tough on us because it just means we gotta put in three times as much work to memorize formulas, theories, and math terms. Have mercy on our souls. Most professors aren't even nice enough to bring up our grades or give us extra credit.

9. The TAs are too busy with work to help us

Even they understand econ isn't a breeze, and as TAs, they can't really explain stuff to us that they don't understand either. In fact, most of the stuff we learn in class are self-taught, usually late nights with Starbucks coffee.

10.  We actually hate business majors

Because they have it easy. And they don't need math. Everything they do is easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Not gonna lie, I love being an econ major. But some cons can be too much and it does teach me not to do econ in grad. One thing is for certain though, I love what I do and I don't regret choosing it.

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