July 31 – new boy meets new girl

7/365 – people to thank who’ve had an impact on me. This one goes back to elementary school. Just when I was starting to fit in and getting used to my chaotic life at Queen Elizabeth Elementary in Queensborough, another new thing was thrown at me and something I had to get used to immediately – uprooting of my entire life as I had known it as we moved to Richmond. I entered Thompson Elementary school in grade 3 sometime in the middle of the school year and had Mrs Lewis as my teacher. I can recall her being a teacher near retirement set in her ways with no time for the new kid. On that first day at recess, no kid made a move to befriend me except for Kathy. I was in awe. This pretty blonde grade 3 girl came up to me and asked me to play with her outside. This girl shared her lunch with me almost every day of grade 3. This girl sat with me. This girl talked with me. This girl had my back when the inevitable new kid bullying started up. This girl made my move to a new city and school so much easier. This girl made me feel validated. I learned that this girl was a Jehovah’s witness – I didn’t know it at the time but later on in life when I questioned why a person would leave the classroom for the Lord’s prayer (yes, I come from the time when the Lord’s prayer was recited in class). I grew to respect Kathy even more after I learned about her parents’ religious choices and her being aware of such and bucking the norm and waiting out in the hall until the announcements were over and people talking bad about her behind her back but she remained strong. Unfortunately, Kathy moved away during my elementary years and I have never been able to reconnect with her but I wanted to recognize her as someone who made my transition a whole lot easier into a new school. Cheers to you Kathy wherever you may be, the new kid thanks you!

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