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Mrs. Sharp Listens (for real)


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The best teacher I have had the privilege of being taught by was my sophomore English teacher, Mrs. Sharp. The class had certain freedoms that I was not allowed in other classes. When a report was assigned, I was allowed to pick the topic. In all other classes when I was told I could write about “anything” I would write about a taboo topic and I would be scolded or punished. In English 10, I did a speech about masochism and some of the cruelties animals are subjected to in factory farms around the world; no calls to my house were made and I wasn’t forced to take a long walk to the guidance office.
The experience I had with Mrs. Sharp wasn’t just one of where to look when making a speech or one of a novel discussion. It was one of being understood and not being told I was wrong.
It happened one May morning… I had been sobbing since the previous night. I had fallen in love with someone I had taken martial arts with for the past two years. He was eight years older than me but he cared about me more than anyone else. He was ignored and lectured by the instructors like I was so we would go in a side room and practice together. This worked swimmingly for a few months until the head instructor came in and found us practicing a mandatory grappling technique. He told us this was “inappropriate and irresponsible.” We were told to stay away from each other. I instantly jumped to the conclusion I was never going to be able to see him again. A sleepless night hadn’t drained me of all my tears, so I tried to put on some make up and go to school in hopes I’d distract myself. It didn’t work. Before the 7:20 bell had rung I was already in a back desk trying not to let anyone find me crying. Mrs. Sharp saw me in despair and asked me what was wrong. I tried to tell her what had happened but I was too upset to even form sentences. She told me to come back during my lunch hour. Somehow I managed to survive my morning classes and drag myself to the room at the end of the hall during lunch. I told her what had happened and she said, “This must be really hard for you because you love him.” I was so stunned she listened to me that I stopped crying. Unlike my parents and martial arts instructor, she understood I wasn’t being taken advantage of and I genuinely cared for my training partner. I managed to make it through the rest of the school day and go home without having another breakdown.
It’s two years later and I am now a senior and still practicing martial arts with my training buddy. If I hadn’t been found that morning, I don’t know what would have happened but I’m willing to bet money it wouldn’t have turned out the way it did. I think she should be commended for comforting me and giving me the courage to face the day and follow my heart.



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BobGray said...
Dec. 7, 2008 at 4:46 pm
Mrs. Sharp is my favorite teacher too. I never was in that situation but I could totally see her being the perfect person to talk to. I agree, I think Mrs. Sharp is amazing. And I'm glad to know she helped you out. -Bob Gray
 
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