101/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Separating work life from real life – some people want that clear distinction. They have work friends and then they have their “real friends”. I question that logic in that if you enjoy somebody’s company at work, wouldn’t they also be a good person to socialize with outside of work? Thus, I live life making myself happy and enjoying the company of people who are good for me and good to me regardless of how I know them. I look back to how I met my friend Liz. I was maybe a year or two (or perhaps longer) at my teaching job in Richmond when Liz and a new group of teachers joined the staff. I can’t say that we became instant friends as I kept my distance – if I were to be honest, I was a bit intimidated as she taught chemistry and I felt that I wasn’t her academic equal. However, Liz (and fellow teacher Joe) went out of their way to joke with me, pull pranks and just have a good time. I was a bit surprised as I thought the “science people” would be very straight laced but that set the tone for our blossoming friendship. Flash forward about a decade and a little more and Liz, myself and two others are the high end martini crew meeting 3 – 4 times a year at swanky venues having laughs and just the four of us enjoying each other’s company. Flash forward a few more years to a crazy 2013 both personally and professionally. Without going into details, suffice it to say that Liz, as district union rep, had my back and my best interests at heart when it came to what I was dealing with on the job. She gave me advice and also went to bat for me which did not go unappreciated. Just knowing that I had someone in my corner made the experience a lot less stressful. I am so very glad that Liz made those initial attempts to break the ice as here we are twenty or so years later as solid friends. I take my $18 martini and honour you Liz for being an awesome friend and colleague!