When I meet Ms.Mistry, I was grumpy and irritable. I was missing some party for a friend that would soon ditch me, and I was stuck at a BIHS orientation. When I meet Ms.Mistry, I thought she would be like all my teachers at my old school: young, fun, and friendly, but in a sugarcoated, pre-packaged way. I remained in my unfortunate state of mind the rest of the day, and when I returned for the first day of school, I was like a whole new person, humbled by the sheer population. Once I had assimilated myself into our core class, I came to realize that I was having the time of my life. Our class, though diverse, was perfectly matched for each other and for the first time of my life I eagerly awaited the knowledge I would gain for first period every morning. Ms.Mistry taught us everything from Sesame Street’s origin, to how to be funny, real, honest people. There came a time in the year where a drama had started in our class. Myself and three other students came to Ms.Mistry to talk about it. After we were finished, one of them was making a call, and so we hung around the classroom, chatting. The subject of first impressions came up, and I told Ms.Mistry, that I thought she was going to be a kind of one dimensional teacher, and how it was funny that she had become, not only my favorite teacher, but like a friend to me. She laughed and said that her first impression of me was that I was going to be the quite problem child. She said she never expected that I would be one of the most talkative people in class, or that I would be one of her most promising, or favorite students to teach. I have never been the most confidant person, and some would say that I’m even self-derogating, but after Ms.Mistry, smart, funny, kind, slightly sarcastic, caring, understanding, beautiful, deep, honest Kalpna Mistry said that I was someone she liked and thought could do well, that I must be okay.Ms.Mistry loved us in a way different than any other. She believed in us, and would never let us tell her over and over that were not worth believing in. She did something more important then that; she made us believe in ourselves. And people like that only come around once in a lifetime. I feel so grateful to have received some of her unwarvering caring and understanding. Love,Natty SiegelStudent of Kalpna Mistry Period 1
Dear Kalpna,I made a list of some of the amazing things about you that will never be forgotten. 1) You have the best smile of anybody I have ever, or will ever meet and you light up every room you enter.2) You see the absolute best in your friends and have the ability to bring out amazing qualities in those who you were around. You do what only truly genuine friends can do; make those around you feel better than they are.3) You saw the world in terms of what you could make better and do for the world rather than what you could get from it.4) You honored your commitments to family, friends, and work.5) You were modest, too modest and had no idea what a beautiful, intelligent and interesting person that you were.I love you and I will miss you. Raveen
Ms. Mistry was the best and the brightest She was a tremendous teacher, dedicated and inspiring. We are heartbroken. Her passing is such a huge loss for the BHS community. Ms. Mistry was passionate about teaching and inspiring her students on social justice. My daughter had the great privilege of having her as a teacher. Before this year, my daughter had little interest in politics or current events. Ms. Mistry inspired her to think about social issues. Ms. Mistry’s dedication was not limited to her school hours. She volunteered her weekends to shepherd her 9th Grade Global Studies students to a political poster exhibit in Oakland and spent an entire day with them at the World Affairs Challenge Global Health Conference at SF State. It was a wonderful learning experience for the students in which they gave presentations about health issues in the world. Ms. Mistry’s team of freshmen, including our daughter, competed against upperclassmen from private schools, and snagged several contests, including first prize for their poster depicting slums in various parts of the world. Ms. Mistry also organized a dinner for Latino parents at the high school to inform and empower them in their children’s education. She always kept us informed about our daughter’s progress and continually encouraged her and us. She always made us feel so appreciated for the small ways that we volunteered. Ms. Mistry was the teacher that all of us teachers aspire to be. Her energy, her commitment to her students, to changing the world to be a better place, is an inspiration to us. She was so young, so beautiful, such a positive person. We will forever be grateful to have had her in our lives.
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