A letter to Mrs. Baker

Dear Mrs. Baker*,

I doubt you will remember me over the thousands of students that you taught at your years of WUHS. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to write.

My senior year was memorable for many reasons. I had finally gathered my courage and tried out for the cheerleading team and made it. I had a date to Senior Prom and I had you for English.

Here it is, over 20 years since I graduated, and I still, immediately, give your name as the teacher that influenced me the most in my schooling. You pushed me to be a better writer, taught me to enjoy plays and American writers, and taught me more about life than any teacher I have ever had, before or since.

This past February, after a series of detours and two children, I started my graduate degree in education. My professor asked us to talk about the teacher that influenced our decision to become educators and I spoke about you. You are the reason I am struggling through graduate school as a single mother with two teenaged boys.

Because when I grow up, I want to be like you.

I want to spark curiosity in my students, give them a desire to question everything, the need to know more, read more, inquire more. I want them to learn from me what I learned from you: the world is a beautifully diverse and interesting place. Go out and experience it!

When I was going through my divorce a couple of years ago, I started a blog as a therapy to help me through what was becoming an increasingly bitter and hard time in my life. As I wrote my first few posts, I wondered if they would pass muster in your class. But whether they would have or not, I continued writing, knowing that the joy I found in using words to express myself had first been discovered under your tutelage.

You are the reason that I minored in English for my B.A. I wanted to have the opportunity to pass the knowledge I had gained from you to a new generation of students.

You were also the reason that I was well prepared for the rigors of college writing and the high expectations of my college instructors. In fact, I’ve never had an instructor as hard to please as you were.

I wanted to take this moment, as I work on a project preparing my first lesson plans, to thank you. Thank you for your guidance. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for the lessons you taught me all those years ago.

Thank you for being the most memorable teacher I ever had the joy of learning from.

Thank you.

This is the letter that I wrote to my high school English teacher today. I will be mailing it tomorrow. A huge thank you to S.F. for finding the address for me! I so appreciate it!

Mrs. Baker,

Here’s younger me and “oldish” me 🙂

Senior Year 1991

Senior Year 1991

This is me, 2014

This is me, 2014

An update, a story and an address

First and foremost, I need to update you on something terrific.

A few days back, I asked all of you to spare some thoughts, prayers and love for a fellow blogger (here).  I am very happy to say that her parents are going home this week and that they are doing very well!  That is such a relief for her and for all of us that are totally emotionally involved.  Now that her parents are out of the woods, she is posting again and I highly suggest you go check out some of the stuff she has posted recently.  It’ll have you laughing till tears run down your face – in a good way!  You can click on theonlinedatingjournal to go and explore.  She really is an amazing woman!

Now, I promised you a story in the title of this post.  So, here goes:

My grandfather, Al Aton, is celebrating his 94th birthday this year.  I can’t tell you how much I love this man.

My grandfather and my grandmother (RIP)

My sister-in-law wrote this about him:

On June 27th of this year, a wondrous event shall occur; the greatest grandfather I know, Al Aton, will turn 94 years young.  Mr. Aton is no ordinary man. He is the kind of man every woman dreams of and every man should want to be. He embodies all that is good. He is kind and considerate. He gives love freely and without shame; none of that macho silliness for that guy.  He is a great man who loves life and has never been afraid to live it. I mean, how many people can say they owned a baseball team and traveled to Cuba to scout players? Or trained countless bombardiers during World War II, which seems safe enough, but 15,000 aviators lost their lives during stateside training.  That’s some living! As you can imagine, at 94, much of our dear Pawpaw’s old crew isn’t around any longer and his days are often lonely. So, borrowing from an idea a friend of mine shared, I thought it would be wonderful to make this birthday a little different; hopefully a little something special.  And this is where you come in, dear friends.  I am hoping you would be so kind as to take a minute and drop a card in the mail for this sweetest of men. Wish him well. Maybe say a little hello to let him know he is thought of. Mention us, be his friend, as you are ours.  Sharing is caring right? If you would be so kind as to participate in this endeavor with me, let me know, and I will message you my address and then hopefully forward on a bunch of cards tied in a pretty red bow for one the greatest men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. 

Me and my PawPaw last year

I honestly couldn’t have summed it up better myself!  I would love to see some of y’all participate by dropping a card in the mail for my dear grandfather.  Would you be so sweet as to do that?

If you would like to send this wonderful man some love, you can send it to this address:

A.L. Aton

c/o Robin Reynolds

PO Box 13

Cookstown, NJ 08511

I look forward to getting a bunch of cards to send on to him in June.  I know he’ll appreciate every one of them!!

Thank you in advance!