I have taught Yasmine four times over the past five years. It has been amazing to see how she has changed over this time. I remember her in grade 8. She was very quiet and often looked quite sad. She did not interact very much with the other students and seldom expressed herself in class. I kind of felt like I had to watch out for her. I always thought very highly of Yasmine and, during her grade 8 year, I felt a little protective of her.
Fast forward to the present: Yasmine is the school president! She is active on an incredible number of teams, committees, and clubs. She is volunteering in her community. She is taking on leadership roles. And if you asked anyone to describe her, I'm sure that the first thing that they would mention is her enormous, gorgeous, ever-present smile (or maybe her hair. Come on, that is AMAZING hair!). Yasmine does not need anyone's protection anymore. This young woman is a dynamo! Confident! Powerful! Fantastic!
Yasmine loves to read. She is a valuable member of the KG Book Club. She has recommended some great books to me (including The Princess Bride and our current book choice: "I'll Give You the Sun"). I love talking to Yasmine about books. We often have similar opinions on what is cheesy, what is heart-wrenching, and what is unrealistic. She is very worldly and insightful and shares her opinions and ideas confidently.
One of my favourite qualities about Yasmine is that she loves to laugh (something else we have in common). And she really has a great laugh! I believe this trait runs in her family as I have noticed this quality in her mom and sister (the fantastic Salma) too. There must be a LOT of laughing in that household. Such a lovely family!
Somewhere along the way Yasmine started the practice of ALWAYS saying "Bye Mr. Wadge" when she left my class. Whether it has been a good class or a dull class, test day or puzzles day, a rainy Monday or a beautiful Friday... she always says goodbye. Little things like this mean so much to a teacher (at least to THIS teacher). The thought of Yasmine NOT being here next year to continue this routine is more than a little painful.
Yasmine, you are a dear, dear student. I am so proud of you for all the growth you have shown over the past five years and I am inspired by the sort of person you have become. I consider myself lucky to have gotten to know you so well during your time at our school and I will miss you so much next year. Love you YF!!