I remember when I first taught Marla (in grade 10). I can't remember exactly how it transpired, but I definitely said something that might have landed me in hot water. It might have gone like this:
Me (doing attendance on the first day of class): I see that Marla is here.
Marla: you already know who I am?
Me: Sure. Though I'd recognize you more if your cheeks were a little more red.
As I said, it probably didn't go exactly like this but whatever it was I said, it made reference to Marla and red cheeks. And, as someone who used to blush (AND HATE IT!!!) in high school, I had this moment of panic: "why did I say that? That's awful! She's going to me mortified... and pissed!!". But, instead, Marla laughed and made some light-hearted comment. I decided in that moment that I loved this kid. Anyone who can laugh at themselves (especially in grade 10) is okay with me!
Of course, grade 10 is also the year that Marla announced that I should knit some socks for her. I had recently joined the KG Knitting Club (R.I.P.) and was enjoying my fledgling skills. I countered that "sure, I will make you some socks but only if you wear them across the stage when you graduate". Marla laughed and quickly agreed. And I quickly dismissed the whole thing.
But Marla kept bringing it up, again and again. "How are my socks coming along"? "Can't wait for those socks" etc. Finally, it was established that she was SERIOUS... she really WOULD wear the socks across the stage if I made them. And I would get to choose the colour. Well, what could I say? The deal was made and sock-knitting was in my future.
Just two problems: (1) I was soon to find out that knitting socks is HARD!! I had to take a course to learn the basics and even then I has some serious troubles. I had almost finished one sock at one point but messed up, got frustrated, and pulled apart the whole thing! (2) Marla has big(gish) feet. Lots of knitting required!
But I succeeded! And I am SOOOOO excited to see those socks on the stage this Monday!! What a good sport Marla is. I totally was expecting her to back out somewhere along the way (and would have understood). Well, we are now 48 hours away from grad and - I think - she is still committed to wearing them! As for the colour? Red, of course (to match her cheeks hahahahaha Sorry Marla!!).
One of the things I love about Marla is her ENTHUSIASM!! She doesn't hold back when she is interested in something. I remember when I was teaching my Foundations 11 class how to play Cribbage. Marla was the only student in the class who knew how to play. I figured a good way to learn would be to have Marla and myself play a game, while the other students watched. So we started and I was explaining: "so what I am doing here is throwing away two cards into the crib. I will be able to use these cards later. Now we will start the count...".
All of a sudden, Marla interrupts eagerly: "It would be in my best interest to start with a low card. I don't want to play a face card in case Mr. Wadge has a five". She totally jumped in and started leading the class. She was explaining strategy, pointing out common mistakes, and asking if there were any questions. It was pretty great. I know that you are interested in Law Enforcement Marla but you'd make a great teacher (and, hey, teaching is a form of Law Enforcement too, isn't it?).
Marla has been a great leader in our Foundations classes many times (not just with Cribbage). She always asks great questions. She works so very hard at the logic puzzles (sorry I missed yours, MH!). And she keeps "certain members" of the class on track. She really made a big difference in Foundations 11 and 12!
You have been a fabulous student, Marla! Thanks for everything you have contributed to me and to my classes. I am so proud of you for being accepted into UVic... and for GOING!!! It takes a lot of courage to move away from home to go to school and you are doing it!! Well done!! I know that you will not regret it! I have seen you almost every day for the past two years (thanks for all the CS help in grade 11 and 12) and it's hard to believe I won't see you at all next year. I will miss you dearly but I certainly have some wonderful memories to think back on. I wish you all the best, Marla. Never lose your great energy and zest for life! Love you...!