May 7 – some should stop

287/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  I was born in New Westminster.  Sometime in my very early years, my parents moved the family to Queensborough and then around age 8, we moved again to Richmond.  I entered grade 3 at Thompson Elementary School and had a teacher named Mrs L.  She was old.  She had a walking stick as I think she had an artificial leg (I was young and don’t really remember).  She was really set in her ways.  She was mean.  She called me out constantly on my behaviour (adhd was not understood nor a term back then).  She yelled at me.  She was my first teacher in Richmond!  Although I had three teachers before her, she stood out and not in a good way.  I didn’t like her.  Being the new kid and being overweight and not very comfortable in the skin I was in and having an unpleasant teacher was just the icing on the cake.  However, my mom – being an ethnic mom – would send Indian food with me to share with the teacher.  I didn’t want to but being respectful and honest, I did.  Mrs L then sent a note home to my mom inviting herself to dinner at our place, attending and then telling the class about it!!  Oh, bring on the bullying and add another layer– teacher’s pet.  And yes, the bullying started and Mrs L didn’t do anything about it (actually, most teachers didn’t but that’s another story).  At that age, I didn’t understand the (reverse) impact she had on me – only until later in my years did I realize that there comes a time when a person needs to stop going through the motions and just move on.  Her bitterness and jaded attitude could have coloured me negatively but I survived her.  I did not hate learning although I did not enjoy school until I got to university.  Mrs L taught me that sometimes people are just at the end of their career and may not enjoy what they are doing/have already checked out and are just going through the motions and that may be alright but as a teacher, that’s wrong.  Your influence is felt.  Either retire early (which might not be possible) or reflect back on what you enjoyed and try to bring that passion back.  I hope that I never become that grumpy, unhappy old person but if I do, I also hope that I don’t take it out on others and that someone tells me (in a nice way 😉 ) about the negative impact my attitude might be having.  So thanks Mrs L for just making me aware that one can age but not have to be bitter and share it with whom you are in contact with.

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