Life Changers- Part I

Dear Mrs. Anita,

You are the first teacher at school, who made me feel worthy of myself. I still owe a part of who I am to you. Today you might not recognize me, but I forever will.

I had just entered my 6th standard. My previous year had left deep scars emotionally. At that point in my life even I started to believe I was good-for-nothing. I expected to be nobody’s pet, and to be everybody’s punching bag.

We had a few new girls in class that year. I was particularly fond of Anu and Romaine. Anu was this smart, and well-mannered girl. And Romaine was a bit goofy and fun. I was hoping to becoming friends with them. Alas, you sorted them into the Blues.

You gave us our first test that year. It was geography. You started distributing our corrected papers, when you’d stopped dead and asked us,”Who’s Vithya?” I stood up nervously, all the while thinking, Oops, what did I do now? It’s just been a month.

“Good work. You’ve got the top score.”, you said happily. For a moment I couldn’t believe it. I was happy. I was in the stars. I do not remember most of my AISLC scores but I still remember my score on that geography test. I had gotten a 17 out of a 25. It is that much important to me, even today.

Then you made me the class pupil leader. I was surprised. It was the first and only time I was class leader. It certainly uplifted my spirit, and it was the first time I ever thought, “Hey may be I am not as bad. If Mrs.Anita, the scout guide teacher thinks I am good enough to be pupil leader, then may be I am.”

I do not know why you made me the pupil leader. I am forever grateful for that. Not for the bragging rights, but for the self-confidence, and more importantly loads of self-respect that I gained by being chosen. Thank you so much for that.

It was then I began to put more effort into studying, especially English, History and Geography, because those were your subjects.

I had a horrible hand-writing, and you tore my English Prose notes countless number of times. I remember writing our first prose lesson “The Elephant and The Hippopotamus” three times. Then in an effort to make me improve my handwriting you made me write in a four-lined notebook, for the whole term. It wasn’t until my handwriting became tolerable you let me off the hook.

At the end of the first term I got my first ‘O’ grade ever. Even the usual class toppers were surprised, with Aishu congratulating me on my first ‘O’ grade. I felt proud, because so far the only out-standing I knew was standing out of the class.

I had a few ups and downs that year. But overall it was a satisfying one because of two reasons.
Firstly, I had a wonderful handwriting by the end of the year.
Secondly, I finally started to believe in myself.

And I simply owed it all to you. Aishu did not know. I did not know. Perhaps, even you did not know.
But today, I look back at my life, and you stand as one of the people who left a significant mark in my life.
Thank you.

I am forever blessed to have been a student of yours.

Love,
Vithya

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