In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.”
I’ve had my fair share of teachers during my school years who’ve aided me when I found their particular subject to be too much of a hassle (which was very much the case for mathematical based subjects). Besides that one slight hindrance, I was something of a nerd in school, and actually looked looked forward to learning. However, I might not have enjoyed school if it hadn’t been for my career studies teacher.
He also functioned as the school guidance counselor, but he frequently took us for extra guidance sessions throughout our last year of school, as is often the case with the majority of schools. By the time my last year of school rolled around, I was aware that I was different from a vast majority of my classmates. While they talked of going to parties and nightclubs during the weekends, I was more than content to sit at home and study, while listening to 80’s music.
When I wasn’t talking to the guidance counselor regarding which college course I wanted to pursue, we were discussing whether I had the potential to do well in life. He assured me that I was just as capable as even the brightest minds in that school. For the first time I could remember, someone saw potential in myself that I couldn’t glimpse. I felt immensely blessed that a person could place so much faith in me to do well in life. I felt that our relationship drew a sort of parallel to “Freaks and Geeks”, where former Mathlete turned freak, Lindsay Weir, has the constant support of eccentric, yet well-being guidance counselor, Jeff Russo.
When the last day of school beckoned, the first task I busied myself in carrying out was in bestowing to him a gift certificate and a bottle of champagne. Unbeknownst to me, he had a present for me as well- a copy of “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. Throughout our weekly (and sometimes daily) sessions, I’d confessed to wanting to read that precise book. I was amazed that he’d remembered a detail as trivial as that. Inside the cover page was the inscription “Believe in yourself and aspire to greatness”.
Many years later, I have indeed aspired to be great, and thus feel more confident than I ever felt when I was at school. Whenever I come across the copy of “Catcher in the Rye”, I think of my former school guidance counselor, and hope that I can someday inspire another individual just as he did to me. And his input and support has made all the difference in my life.