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To Know History

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There's a point in a person's life
Where the question of the future is evident -
"Are you going to sink or swim?"
It's upon that question which I've thought about
Everything you've ever taught me....

"Thank you" just never seems good enough -
Words, I think, just aren't sufficient to truly express
What I'm trying to stress in this mess of letters....
I've come to owe you an eternal payment -
Through that, this much I know,
I am so grateful to show I have this unpayable debt,
Proving that I have met a rare, amazing, hero of a man - you.
And, it's true -
A person only gets one chance in their life
To find such an inspirational teacher....
I was lucky enough to meet you.


Just know I mean this all and I always will - that
Through every goal I need to fulfill - I will fulfill because of you.... -
All of this, I think, is something you knew.

Mr. Gusso, you always pushed me above and beyond....
And, from now on, I promise to never give up.
You have always motivated me with your exalting speeches -
Teaching me who to try to be through all
Of those talks and walks, the laughs, the smiles,
And even the frowns that seemed to last a while.
You encouraged me when I thought I could never be anyone -
Now I know I will give up to none.
You have made me a better person -
Nothing in the world could ever show you
Just exactly what everything you have done
Means to me everyday - sadly, it seems all I can do -
All I can say is, "Thank you".

The world was at my fingertips in your class,
And, to you, Mr. Gusso, I raise my glass.
You are that rare kind of teacher
Who makes one hope that the bell would never ring -
I always wished I never had to be leaving.
I know, though, I will be achieving once viewed unattainables....
Now, my possibilities for education are unlimited,
The fortification of a successful life have been secured -
Thank you will never be enough, but it seems like all I can give right now.
Thank you, Mr. Gusso, for everything and more,
You've changed my life right to the core.

You made me realize that I had a talent all my own,
And when I felt I couldn't do it - you never did relent;
You made sure my talent was known.
Through this, you have shown me, in my own way,
I could change the world, and now, even on my last day,
I still feel like there's so much I should not delay to say....

Mr. Gusso, you've portrayed the past in class
And, yet, you have also cleared the path to the future -
To me, that takes a true History teacher to be able to feature
What was, what is, and what will be....
I only wish now it had been me to say all those notes,
For that I can only offer my most sincere apologies.
The knowledge you gave me will stay with me forever,
And no matter what - through tears or fears -
I know I cannot give up these next four years.

"If you know a little bit about History,
You know a little bit about everything." ....
I'll remember what you have said - all the advice and jokes,
The meeting with Mr. Higbee where "two writers talked",
And, even that first walk out of your class, having
Resulted in the original pass of that story -
In my eyes, you are just an amazing teacher
Who deserves nothing but glory.

If I could, I would do anything
To help you reach your dreams as you have helped me.
You've made me realize my educational hopes are free -
I can finally be the person that you see within....
The once thin chances of chances of college have been raised high
And, I feel even my dreams can no longer be limited -
Even by the sky.

And, if anyone were to ever ask how or why I made this far
With so few or little scars of struggle,
I can reply that I have relied on an awe-inspiring man;
A teacher, a motivator, an award deserving educator....
Someone who didn't give up on me when I already had,
Cheered me up when I felt everything in the world was bad,
And knew when to lecture when I misbehaved.

Mr. Gusso, you truly have saved my education,
Giving me someone to talk to when my path started to stray.
When I am forced to go away
To a frightening place known as high school, just know this is true -
Thinking of all you have done for me and
The little I have been able to return in all that I've learned....
I must admit, I still am in dismay for how few times
I've thanked you when I received those scholarship applications,
When you gave me confidence in myself - in my words -
And, when you talked me through what I should do -
Governors Camp, possible publishing, college....
Taking that time out of your own personal life to assist me;
Make it viewable so the path I need to be on is the one I always see -
Whether I knew it or not, you always made sure I never let my talent rot.
All those moments I never paused to smile and truly appreciate it only
Reminds me of all the times I could have stopped, thought,
And thanked you for all you've taught me, all you've done for me,
As well as everything you may continue to do.

Let me take a final moment, then,
To allow myself to try and tell you how much I honestly have been
Valuing and prizing every little second you have taken to
Help me awaken a sort of confidence I have never before felt.
I owe my life and future to you
And, such dedication to improve myself I have never given to anyone, if few.

Mr. Gusso, you not only became my favorite teacher - my mentor....
You also became that reliable, supportive, forever trusted friend -
The kind who I knew I could always look up to....
That constant, true friend,
The one who would never let me hit that final dead end.
In all of this, I can only hope I have conveyed
My honest thanks, how much everything you've done for me
Still makes me truly happy - makes me smile even to this day.

Now, the dismal time has come to take a deep breath,
Close one's tear stained eyes,
And submit to those last goodbyes.
You've helped to make me believe in not only myself,
But also my once unreachable dreams....
Teaching me so many memorable things and
Turning me away from the dark path I've often started to stray....
To this very day, I'll swear my life to it -
I want to try to keep going this way.

So, in this time of May, in this last day
I have realized that only once I'll get this last chance to portray
All those thank you's I never quite had the courage to say -
I will never forget everything you've ever done to help me
And, in expressing this, just know I will do my best
To not let all those moments you spent making such a different
Ever go to waste -
I don't ever want to disappoint you....
I swear, I'll never fall through.

Although now I'll say farewell to you, Mr. Gusso,
I can already tell this isn't the last I'll hear from you.
In saying goodbye to you and all that I once knew,
I will also say hello
To an indescribable future that you have lit for me.




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