To The Teacher Who Helped Shape Me

To The Teacher Who Helped Shape Me

A simple 'thank you' doesn't do you justice.
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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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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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