Back in middle school, I moved to the states. It was a tumultuous adjustment period. A new school (Swallow) and a new culture to adjust to. It had only been a year since I moved and just when the tornado settled, the storm came: the divorce happened. I didn’t realize it then but I was in a dark spot. Sixty missing assignments and less than a 2.0 - I wasn’t thinking about academics.
Had it not been for Mrs. Hagenow, I might’ve been consumed by this storm. She is the most patient, kind and caring teacher I’ve had the joy of being taught by. She hounded after me about the assignments I was missing from her; She made sure I wasn’t dozing off in class and pestered me to make sure I was staying on top of it all. Through these subtle things, she looked out for me.
One of my biggest regrets is not seeing this effort. I called her the devil (and worse) and despised her. I felt like she had something against me. It never occurred to me that it was out of compassion. Only with her help, did I start making up my missing assignments. It began with her assignments, then with other teachers’ work. I was slow about it, but she was there ready to chase after me again if I ever stopped or slowed down from my turtle pace. From 60 to 40 to 20, I eventually made up all the assignments I could have turned in. I hadn’t fully recovered, my grades were still low. I was still in the eye of the storm, but now, there was a path of redemption.
The silent care, through actions and not words, the thankless kind, she gave has prepared me. Now, in high school, I know to hound after teachers about my missing assignments. That I needed to take the initiative for my own academics for someone like Mrs. Hagenow won’t be there to chase after me when I slow down.
Only now, that I see that you pushing me and chasing after me, was the reason I was able to get back up and start running. Only now, writing about it four years later, do I see the intentions you had. It is only now, that I thank you for everything you have done for me. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for preparing me for the future. Thank you.