Every school year, each student enters the building expecting one or two pretty decent teachers, and then a few teachers that they don't exactly get a long with. If you're lucky, you get have the opportunity to work with a teacher that will have an impact on you for the rest of your life. I was privileged enough to have a teacher that had such an influence on me, but I didn't realize this from the beginning.
The first day of middle school, wow. I was scared of course: many new faces, different teachers, a bigger school. I found my way to my first class. I only recognized one or two faces. Then I noticed the teacher that I was going to have to see every morning for the next year. He didn't look exactly intriguing. Actually, the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw him was Santa Claus. As the rest of the class came in, we all settled down, and the Christmas legend look-alike introduced himself as Mr. Harmon.
As the year progressed, Mr. Harmon and I came across some conflicts. None of these disagreements were important in all reality, but I do have the memory of going to my guidance counselor and having complaints on his part. My mother, Mr. Harmon, and myself ended up having a conference, although I didn't believe that it had any effect.
Things between my teacher and myself had gotten to the point where it was pretty decent and stable. Then one day, as I was walking out the door, Mr. Harmon stopped me and handed me a piece of paper. With only the words "fill it out," he turned and walked away. I turned my head and lowered my eyes and began to read the words on...