by Emma Schwenker, age 17
I can’t help but bounce my leg during the sixth period anxiously waiting for American Problems. The rock in my throat grows smaller and smaller and the tears stop flowing as it nears the seventh period. The second the clock strikes 11:40, I slowly jog from one side of the school to the other.
I walk into the bright room to Mr. Skaros’s pearly white teeth shining from ear to ear only to hear Carlos say, “Someone had a rough day,” as I walk to my desk.
I gulped and stuttered, “Carlos, stop.”
I choke back the tears as Mr. Skaros walks up to the front of the class. The second he starts talking and cracking jokes it is like the forty minutes that I am in the class is only a short ten. Although this day was different, the most exciting part of my day was ruined. Everything about this day could not get worse, my sister got in a car accident, my dad was getting sick, I had soccer tryouts (which everyone dreads), my teacher marked me absent, and nothing seemed to want to go my way. Or so I thought.
Time goes by and I begin to get control of the tears, but I am nowhere near feeling better about the situation I am going through and everything leading up to it. Although a faint voice in the corner of the room says my name and I hesitate to look knowing he is going to ask me if I am ok. I am not.
I proceed to walk to him as he clears the room to talk to me. I can feel the tears storming in but for some reason, I am ok with it. For some reason, I know that I can cry to him and not feel embarrassed or ashamed.
He clears his throat and in his peaceful voice he asks, “Is everything okay, what can I do to help?”
I want to so badly tell him exactly what is going on but the wall building up inside of me seems to only grow bigger and bigger as I feel like my problems could never compare to someone who has it much worse.
“My sister got in an accident,” I stutter hoping to relay more, but that is all that would come out.
“Well, is your sister okay,” Mr. Skaros immediately questions.
“Ya, sorry I am not usually like this,” I cover hoping he wouldn’t think anything less of me.
He suddenly tells me that everything is going to be okay and assures me that I can always talk to him if I needed. He quickly grabs a pass and tells me to just breathe and take my time to my next class.
I have never gotten the chance to tell him, but I can’t thank him enough for being the most empathetic, efficient, and enthusiastic teacher I have ever had, and thank you for always being there.