194/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Do you have a person who is a friend who is more like a sibling than your actual siblings? Rare yes, but it does happen. I met that younger “sister” about 15 years ago teaching and became fast friends with her. When the school was hiring for a new teacher, I fought long and hard for her to be a part of our department even though the powers that prevailed at that time did not see her merits at that point in time but soon became aware of what she brought to the table. Tania is my little sister. She got thrown into a teaching load that she wasn’t fully qualified for but she made the best of it and her personality was the defining factor that set her apart from others – sometimes personality trumps technical qualifications and that was the case with her. Tania was also one of the reasons I got through my Masters in Education program – if not for the fact that one of our instructors adored her (and me being bright enough to hitch a ride and become Tania’s partner for projects LOL) and that we figured out an ingenious way to be “logged in and contributing during our chat time” for an online course whereas Tania took care of her kids and I got my reality tv fix in – if share too much more, our respective degrees could be rescinded 😉 The biggest endearing quality of Tania though is her infectious laugh – she draws you in with her warmth and her genuineness. Tania and I are similar spirits in we are your atypical Indo-Canadians in that we defy the typical boundaries and standards that we are supposed to fall under and thus we get relegated to rule-breakers as we don’t fit the typical mould. Over the years, both of us have, through no choice of our own, moved on career-wise to different schools but have stayed in touch and kept our sister/brother bond alive through social gatherings and also had our chats and talks over similar personal situations that life has thrown us and that we are dealing with in our own ways. As well, we have both ended up moving from the West side cushy school where we in fact became complacent to two different East side schools that actually puts our teaching to the test and share similar stories of what we are doing with the typically real students that make teaching that much more engaging – no offense meant my West-side colleagues 😉 Thank you Tania for being an amazing friend and confidant and that we can be real with each other even moreso as we traverse along our individual life paths. I raise a glass, okay who am I kidding, a bottle of wine to you!!