Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Miraculous Ms. Mistry - By Clio McConnell

In writing this speech, one thing I’ve realized is how many positive adjectives can be applied to the miraculous Ms. Mistry. An almost infinite amount, I would say. She was compassionate, dedicated, diligent, beautiful, charming, funny, enthusiastic, and just generally the most awesome teacher and friend a kid could ever ask for, and I didn’t even really know I had asked for it. Until now, I don’t think I really realized I had gotten it.

Last year, I was in her second period class. She would often tell us that we were great, but that we should really try to make more of an effort to be a core, not just a class. Whenever we weren’t paying attention, she’d just get this exasperated look on her face and go “Second period!” in a voice that gave no doubt that she was lovingly rolling her eyes. It was like she was an older sister telling you to get your hands out of that cookie jar right now… but only after you get her one, too.

For myself in particular, she’d always encourage me to participate more, because she said she knew I had great ideas rolling around up there. Honestly, I did try. It was only second period, though, so my brain was not in full-function mode. I would always point out to her at the end of class when I had made a comment, to make sure she’d noticed. When I did that, she would just smile that famous Ms. Mistry smile and say “See, I knew you could do it.”

For me, this situation is the ultimate case of “you don’t know how good you’ve got it until it’s gone. Although she wasn’t the type to fish for compliments or expect a “thank you,” there are so many times when I could have or should have expressed how much I appreciated her. Now that I can’t, I hope she knows how much I’m going to miss her, and how much I already regret not telling her how amazing she was at every chance I got.

Selfishly, I wish she was still here so I could have given her a big hug at the beginning of the year and shown her how I look with glasses. In general, it’s devastating that we’ll never get to see how many marvelous things she could have accomplished, nor be a part of them.

All in all, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to miss her as much as she deserves, but at least I know I’m not the only one who’s trying.