By Mason Buss
“Haha, we got the super young teacher and you got the older one, Mason,” a friend said to me.
“She’s probably cranky and mean,” another chimed as we looked at the pictures of our soon to be homeroom teachers for seventh grade.
What looked like the most dreaded option—and soon to be a mundane year—shortly changed to be the best teacher I ever had and one of my favorite years at St. Charles.
It all started one afternoon when we got to dress up for Halloween and do a little Halloween parade. I brought my ghillie suit (the type of camouflage that snipers wear) and would hide right next to a bush blending in with my new camouflage and would wait for someone to walk by. When someone was about to walk in front of me I would stand up and say, “I’m a bush,” and scare the people walking. Something that as a 7th grader I thought was very humorous (sometimes not the people getting scared though). However, I wasn’t the only one who found this humorous: my teacher whom I was not yet very close with at the time found this very humorous. This was the beginning of our friendship.
School is tough. No parents, tough classes, middle school relationships and you want to look cool while doing it all. Along with that, crying at school is probably the worst thing you can do if you want to look “cool” at school. So when I was going through my first heartbreak, (which seemed like a big deal at the time) Mrs. Smet brought me into her empty class, sitting me down and listening to me because sometimes we just need someone to listen to us. She had a way of making me safe and like someone actually cared in an environment that is so tough for many early teenagers. She taught me that it would get better with time, which is something I stay true to today.
Mrs. Smet would always support me in all my athletics, especially my favorite one, baseball. I remember telling her, “This arm right here is going to make me money someday,” (Since I was a pitcher). Where most people would laugh off such a comment coming from a young teenager, she encouraged me telling me she believed in me. I always remembered that, and it helped me to where I am today as I have earned a scholarship from pitching just like I told her many years ago.
Mrs. Smet is the most caring, trustworthy, and supportive teacher and friend I have ever had. I can’t imagine how different those two years would have been without her. Still, to this day, she checks up on me by sending me a text asking how I’ve been and hoping all is well. I am forever grateful to have met her. So, thank you Mrs. Smet for believing in me and caring about me.