I chose today’s post based off the Daily Post prompt:
“Write a post inspired by your sixteenth birthday.”
Throughout my middle school and early high school years, I had very little social contact with my peers, other than what was necessary in class. I have mentioned this before in my blog and in other stories of me, but it is part of this story as well. The Asperger syndrome definitely was one thing to hamper my social relationships with my fellow students in those years. Yet, it may have been a blessing in disguise. The drama of those years that can infest many a person I managed to deflect. Though I don’t communicate regularly with many of my classmates from middle school, those that I had classes with I will sometimes attempt to reach out to.
The teachers made a huge impact on me. In some sense, it was almost as if I had a deeper connection with the teachers than my peers at the time. Yes, that may have made me the classic “teacher’s pet” stereotype, but even if people lambasted that about me behind my back, again The Shell (i.e. my Aspie characteristic) deflected it. The students that appreciated me for who I am, or attempted to reach out to me in a friendly way, are of true good hearts.
In particular, my favorite teachers throughout middle school included A. Ellenberger, C. Christiansen (z”l), and P. Larson. Ellenberger was my seventh grade science teacher, and was incredibly engaging in her class. From having us sing The Elements as a class, off-topic songs about her cat Punk’n’Fred, and the following thing about plate movement (but I can’t really show the hand motions in words):
Diverging move apart,
Converge, subduct, trench, KABOOM!
Christiansen was my English teacher in ninth grade, as well as the gifted coordinator at Pound. I had several conversations with her prior to taking that class, and then she was an immense help for me in ninth grade. She supplemented my reading skills, and gave me opportunities to discuss difficult-for-me readings, as reading has always been a weaker area for me. I would not have done well with reading Romeo and Juliet, Les Misérables, or The Illiad without having the class guide me through the reading. Incidentally, I also got to learn about ביקור חולים (visiting the ill) experientially during ninth grade, as she had her gallbladder removed in the middle of the year.
And Larson has been a wonderful resource for me as well. I frequently had lunch with her at Pound, and always saw her with a smile on her face around the halls. I sometimes talked with her about social issues, and the discussions were very helpful for me. Additionally, in ninth grade, she arranged a Special Ed Short Bus to get me from Pound to Southeast in order to take DA^2 (Differentiated Advanced Algebra), since during that year, ninth graders were still at the middle school buildings in Lincoln. So many other things I could say as well, but since I am not blogging as a career, I want to move on with the point.
In particular, what does this have to do with my sixteenth birthday? My activity for that day was to invite these teachers, and a few others (none of which were my peers …) to Sun Valley Lanes and Lee’s, for bowling and homestyle food. After going to the DMV and bowling, I drove with Levi in the passenger seat from Sun Valley to Lee’s, perfectly safely. And after dinner, the gift from Ellenberger and her husband (nicknamed Pineapple), was a Hawai’i-style shirt. I wore it proudly for over five years until I outgrew it, size-wise.
That gift definitely influenced my style, and now Hawai’i-style button-downs are among my favorite clothes to wear. With the influence of my teachers, perhaps my aspirations of becoming a professor are the sort of pay-it-forward attitude that I have developed…
P.S. This is my 250th post. How ironic that I have a “milestone” post (ordinally) at the same time that I post about a “milestone” birthday (although it’s probably more of a “kilometerstone…”)
Today is the twentieth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes two weeks and six days.
As of 08:23, CST, here are other posts that have touched on this theme:
- Watering pots | Vintage Photography
- My Floating Musings
- Bert Was A Thief (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
- Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen | Under the Monkey Tree
- Daily Prompt: Sixteen « Vicariously Poetic
- Insert End of an Era Cliché Here | AS I PLEASE
- Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen | The Wandering Poet
- Inspiration of a Sixteen-year Old — A Haiku: Monday, January 20, 2014 | LisaRosier.com
- Sweet Sixteen | Geek Ergo Sum
- Not so Sweet Sixteen | Dance with the Rain
- Sixteen Candles and One Surprise Party | meanderedwanderings
- Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
- It’s been an extremely long time since I was sixteen | thoughtsofrkh
- Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen | Vagabond
- Inside left blank for your own message | Kate Murray
- Sweet Sixteen – Quizmania | L5GN