Monday, August 21, 2006

Back to School

Today Amanda bought her books at BRCC and officially declared herself a "college student!" I am glad she is so excited. She will be taking computers, reading, math, and spanish. Definitely sounds like school! I am really proud of her. Her goal is to do one to two years general education close to home and then transfer to Western Carolina to finish her degree in Interior Design.

Amy, Matthew, Nick & Zack start back on Friday at West. Amy got her schedule straightened out and it seems that she and Matthew both will start the day the hard way - with math (ugh!) Amy says she is looking forward to second semester where she will get to go off campus for Childhood Education. Her only "real" class will be English with Mrs. Squires and her Senior Project. We are all happy that we don't have to figure out the subject of that project for a few more months. Amanda did great on hers, using the American Disabilities Act as a basis for redesigning a home. She got an "A." I am sure Amy will do as well. I have already volunteered to be a mentor to Zack's girlfriend, Ashley, who has chosen to do a scrapbook of some kind. Now we just have to figure out what her "dilemma" to write about will be.

Matt is doing some strength training for his winter sports and after his first session he shared with sisters, "I'm sore!" He will be playing a little fall baseball but mostly looking forward to playing JV Basketball for the Falcons! I know that he has been preparing for high school sports for a long time and now he is ready!

Speaking of "back to school," I thought I would give a shout out here to some of my favorite teachers over the years. First and foremost, I salute Ms. Campbell ~ Thank you for giving me the courage to try new things and the encouragement to believe in my self. My self esteem was saved by you and your caring ways. I will never forget the "Raider Review" and all the times I spent with you writing, typing, and pasting that paper together. Remember the gossip part? It is so cool to know that I was in school during a time when we could report who's seeing who without worry about a lawsuit! To think all we did to get that little paper out each month - now it can be done on one machine - computers have brought us a long way. You were my original publisher! I don't do nearly as much writing as I used to, but I am definitely still "in the business." I know without a doubt that I would not being working in my current job without my 7th grade start and my wonderful teacher, Margo Campbell! Thank you.

Along those same lines I have to say a thank you to Mrs. Gorsuch (who is still putting out the BEST high school paper in the land!) I know you thought I messed up a little in my senior year but I got back on track and here I am working for the Times-News just like you did. I know, I know, you were a writer and I just sell ads but I do get to write ad copy and I am not sure, but I think I am better at the sales end as I get to TALK a lot more! Looking back over some old issues of the "Wingspan" I found where I was listed as the Business and Advertising Manager - guess you knew what you were doing to help me even before I did! Thank you for your leadership, guidance and most of all for actually caring what happened to all of your future journalists!

When I was in elementary school at Penrose, I had one teacher two years in a row, Mr. Thorpe. He was the best and he truly made me feel special. I will never forget how he said I was the only kid he knew who could talk through every one of his lessons and then repeat them right back to him. Of course, I didn't realize at the time that I was so distracting to other students who didn't have that same talent - I must I have driven him crazy. Mr. Thorpe was also the one who encouraged me to concentrate on winning Spelling Bees. I remember when I won at the school and got to go to the next level and how disappointed we both were when I missed "pencil."

Anyway, I believe that when my mom tried to take us to the new school in Henderson County that it was Mr. Thorpe who convinced her to let us finish at Penrose. I remember it so vividly. Our last day was to be March 17, a Friday, we said our goodbyes to friends we had known for five years. There were many tears shed, including at least one by Mr. Thorpe. I remember seeing him talking with my mom before we left that day. We went on spring break the next week and when it came time for us to go to our new school, my mom drove us to Brickyard Road where we caught Bus 45 - headed back to Penrose! What a wonderful surprise! Thank you, Mr. Thorpe, for caring enough to know that changing school midstream was not a good idea. When Mr. Thorpe was appointed the new principal at Etowah where my kids were going, I was elated! That is until he started telling stories on me - I thought I was supposed to be the one with the good memory. Oh well, he made my kids laugh and that is all that matters!

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