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Mr. Cherin: The Best Ever This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Of all my classes, I always loved social sciences least—until I took Mr. Cherin’s economics class. Economics is fascinating, but Mr. Cherin is even better. He shook my world like a snow globe, unexpectedly but gently, shifting the flakes of my worldview until I learned to do so myself.

I first got to know Mr. Cherin in the classroom, and it soon became clear that he was an unusually effective educator. When he taught us about the Production Possibilities Curve, the lesson stuck largely because he plotted his PPC as the production of pizza versus condoms. Our introduction to the different macroeconomic theories of Keynes and von Hayek came in the form of an Epic Rap Battle on YouTube, and we began our unit on the Federal Reserve with some comic books on the subject.

The humor was just enough to pique our interest. Then the serious work began, and there was plenty of it. A friend once speculated that Mr. Cherin had cast a spell on all of his students so that, no matter how hard he worked us, we still loved both him and his class—enough to take a second year of it. For my part, I don’t suspect dark magic; educational savvy and a winning personality seem like a potent enough combination to explain the phenomenon.

However, my experiences with Mr. Cherin outside the classroom have given me more to appreciate than his teaching style and wit. Last spring, after winning the state round of Academic WorldQuest—a competition focusing on world affairs—three friends and I traveled to Washington, D.C. to compete in Nationals. As our coach, Mr. Cherin accompanied us. While in D.C., Mr. Cherin discovered and worked to undo some of my nonsensical personal rigidities. When I nearly panicked at a restaurant at the thought of being physically unable to obey one of my father’s rules—“Clean your plate!”—Mr. Cherin finished my dinner for me. The next night, once again faced with an oversized portion, I managed to stop eating when I was full, and Mr. Cherin’s approval helped me silence the voice inside of me screaming that I had committed a hideous sin.

While perfectionism has long defined me, Mr. Cherin is helping me crawl out of the box of “dos” and “don’ts” that I’ve constructed from snippets of my parents’ advice. He lets me lean on him as I learn to make my own decisions, yet he encourages me to take steps on my own and even occasionally ignore him. Meanwhile, I am continuing to study economics, and economies of scale are just as revelatory now as the determinants of demand were last year. As I intend to study economics in college, I hope I don’t forget what Mr. Cherin has taught me in class. At the same time, as I intend to maintain the power to make my own decisions, I hope even more fervently that I don’t forget the other lessons that Mr. Cherin has taught me.

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