My favourite teacher ever, Dr. Hannah Tyson, is retiring from the United World College of the American West in Montezuma, New Mexico.
You know those teachers who both terrified and impressed you? (Which is probably the single most important performance booster for yours truly, anyway).
"Hannah" is a tall, rail-thin woman with a sock of red hair and an intense, focused stare that could level you in a matter of seconds. She was incredibly elegant, always well turned out, and prepared us better for our IB finals than any other teacher I can imagine. She was hard but funny. Example - she pulled aside "Chuck" - a very nice and hard-working classmate from Minnesota one day and demands to know, "What kind of name is Chuck? It's a chump name."
See, she could say things like that, and it was A-OK, because she was a fabulous teacher and everyone knew it. She's the reason I studied English literature in university, and I'll always think of her as one of the most influential women in my life, despite only having been her student for a year.
This is a gushy post I know, but what I'm really getting at here is the transformative power of a truly gited teacher.
So long, Hannah. I wish you well on whatever you do next.