Tony is a surprising fellow. When I first met him (when he was in grade 9) he struck me as a quiet, unassuming, sort-of-shy student.
Wow! Did I ever underestimate Tony! The guy is a dynamo! We are talking just all-around amazing! Consider the following:
- SMARTS - Tony is one of the best Math students in the school. He is the rare student who makes me a bit nervous when he asks questions. Why? Because he has such good insights, notices connections, is right on top of things. His questions are often not the "typical" question I've come to expect. I have to really be prepared for what he is asking.
- SCHOLARLY - what makes Tony such a good student is not his natural ability. It is the persistence and internal motivation he displays. He always does his best. He always seeks complete understanding.
- CREATIVE - quite frankly, Tony has made some of the highest quality videos a student has ever handed in to me. Incredible production values! Funny! Professional! And that singing voice!! (hahaha)
- SENSE OF HUMOUR - not just in the videos. Tony has an understated way of being funny which just makes things even more hilarious. He is never loud and obnoxious (that's more my style) but deftly slips in witty lines here and there when I'm not expecting it. Plus, he's sort of weird (which I love). Like when he includes a photo of me (which I didn't even know he took) or Narihiro or Anthony with almost every homework assignment. Weird, right? But very amusing (except for the photos of me when I look soooooo old!!!) :(
- ATHLETIC - a few years ago at the triathlon, Tony was starting his swim 10 seconds after me. Now I'm not saying I'm a great swimmer but I figured I would leave Tony in the dust. So I make the first turn and hazard a glance... and Tony is definitely less than 10 second behind! So I pick it up a bit and at the next turn... he's even closer! We ended up side by side for the last 15 metres and - I won't lie - Tony nipped me at the line. Turns out he is a water-polo player (hardest sport ever!! Sooo exhausting!). Only thing I can say in my defence: someone told me he proceeded to barf in the bushes after his swim. And I still had to do the bike and run. :)
- THOUGHTFUL - Tony does a lot for our school. Videos for all sorts of things. Scorekeeping. Interact club, etc. He's a good guy!
On top of all this, Tony, you have always treated me with the utmost respect and kindness. I know that you will do great things in the future but I am proud of you already. Proud of everything you have ALREADY accomplished and proud of the sort of person you are. The best compliment I can pay you: I was talking to a fellow teacher recently about how outstanding your ENTIRE grad class is. The teacher said: "you know the sort of person I'd love to be friends with if I was back in grade 12? Tony K!". I couldn't agree more!
It's been a wonderful four years with you in my class, Tony. Thanks for being such an easy and rewarding student to teach. Love ya!