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Janet Dean: Librarian • Conrad Schools of Science This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


“When you come to the open door, walk through,” she said, looking into my crying, upturned face. I was changing schools; I was leaving all my friends, everyone I was attached to. That year had been the hardest; they had taken away my passion, the thing that had given me my drive: Art. It felt like they had ripped out my soul, so I gave up, and my grades dropped from A's to D's and F's. Mrs. Dean's library had become my sanctuary, the place where I ran when I cried. She had become the person in whom I confided when I thought there was no one else. She understood what I was going through, and let me vent my frustration.

Her library was the only place in school that I could be myself. I could hide behind my wall of books and laugh at the things around me. I would come around to her side of the desk and see things in a different way. From her view, things weren't as bad; there were silver linings around all the dark corners of the world. She let me stay in the library during lunch when I didn't want to face the crowded cafeteria and the judging stares of my classmates. I don't think I could have made it through that year without her.

I remember one of the times when a peer made me cry. I ran all the way across school from English to Mrs. Dean's library. She let me cry there, away from the prying eyes of students and faculty.

Mrs. Dean knew that this year was hard for me and that I probably wasn't going to stay. So when I told her that I was changing schools, I broke down. I didn't want to leave her. But she made me see that even though I was leaving her, it was going to be okay. She told me that I had to do what was right for me; she didn't say it would be easy but it would make me happier in the long run.

Because of Mrs. Dean, I am now more mature. It was true that starting at a new school my junior year wasn't easy. But I am happier than I could have ever been at my old school. She was right. I now feel like I can be more myself, and I have more friends because of it. She helped me see that good friends let you be who you really are, and they will stick by you through good times and bad, just like she did.

When Mrs. Dean told me “When you come to the open door, walk though,” she wasn't just referring to the doors of my new school, or the hard things in life I would have to face. I interpreted it to mean that every day is a chance for a new beginning; I just have to be brave enough to take that chance. Those new beginnings are all around, so don't let them pass you by. Walk through that door and see what exciting adventures await you on the other side.

Mrs. Dean was like a gardener, looking down on a sad flower that was afraid to bloom. But thanks to her gentle and caring touch, this flower has blossomed into something worth cherishing. She saw the potential in me. Thank you, Mrs. Dean, for believing in me when it felt like no one else did.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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