Though I did not get to teach Anelia until grade 11, I was well aware of who she was way back in grade 8. Her sister Blaga is - I make no bones about it - one of my all-time favourite students. I was teaching her in grade 10 when Anelia started at King George. I think Blaga may have even introduced us early on that year. Anyway, Anelia started saying "hi" to me when I'd see her in the hallways. She also came for extra math help a few times and was super appreciative.
So I knew - even before I taught her - that Anelia was a sweet, friendly person. But it took teaching her for an entire year to come to appreciate just what a special person she is. Anelia has so many great traits but what I admire MOST about her is her gentle, kind disposition.
Regardless of what is going on in her life - stressed with tests, overwhelmed with work (Anelia works a LOT), sick, overtired, frustrated with Math - Anelia always has a smile on her face and a thoughtful comment to share. I wish I could be so consistent with my own disposition. It makes such a difference to have someone enter my class every second day (Anelia is my CS student this year) who ALWAYS brings such warmth and positivity. Even when I just pass her in the hall, her BIG beautiful smile (see above for a muted version) brightens my day.
If you have been in my class before (I doubt many people are reading this who haven't been) you know the importance I place on hard work. To me, it's the secret to getting to where you want to be in life. And it is for this reason, that I know Anelia will be successful moving forward. She does not shy away from hard work at all. Whether it be school work, volunteering, her multiple paid jobs, or otherwise, Anelia has the ability to bear down and get things done. And I have nothing but respect for THAT!
One of my favourite things about Anelia (which will end this week, sadly) is when we have Silent Reading and she is my CS student. She sits right beside while we read. Some of the highlights this year have included:
- mocking me for giggling at my (very funny) book
- mocking Des for the same thing
- sampling all the cologne trials in the GQ magazines
- pointing out some of the more...uh...avant-garde outfits in those same magazines.
- finding excuses to leave class to "get a head start on CS tasks". (I believe it may actually be a way to avoid reading).
- laughing at me if my stomach rumbles (hungry!)
Thanks, Anelia, for all the great conversations (and the many laughs) we have shared. I always enjoy spending time with you, whether it be in my classroom, in the hallways, or even at your place of work!! I hope we will stay in touch after you graduate because I will miss you very, very much! Love you AI <---- remember when you thought that was your test mark. Hehehe!