I remember the first time I met Maya. She was in grade 10 and not actually attending King George. She was spending the year doing the TREK program (outdoor education) at Prince of Wales. One day she had a Pro-D when we didn't so she came to KG for the day. She walked into my classroom and took a seat near the back. Usually, when "visitors" come to my class they are there for only social reasons... there is no attention spent at all on what I am teaching. But Maya was not like this. You could tell she was actually keeping track of what I was teaching. A couple of times she even offered answers to my questions to the class. And - though I don't remember the exact details - I do recall that she answered something in a way that I had never considered before (but was totally correct). All this to say, she made a VERY good first impression on me. I was thinking to myself: "wow, I met this kid 20 minutes ago and I can already tell that she is a superb math student... skilled, focused, and confident".
Turns out I was totally correct (first impressions are often accurate, right?). I have now had the pleasure of teaching Maya the past two years. And she has been nothing but an exemplary student. Great work habits and awesome achievement! What was probably most impressive was Maya's PreCalculus 11 year. She and (the great) Amanda G came to me after a month of classes and asked if they could continue the course "on their own" by using my videos. There was some other course that they wanted to take that was in the same Block as mine. So the idea was to have TWO classes scheduled at the same time (I think) and to watch the videos to learn the material and to find times to come write quizzes / tests / projects / etc. I was pretty reluctant to do approve of this. Math by Distance Ed (as this basically was) is pretty hard for anybody. You have to be disciplined enough to stay up to date with the material. You have to struggle through lots of difficult problems on your own. And you have to find times to write those darn tests! Not only did Maya do all of this, she also earned an exceptionally high mark in the class. It is a testament to Maya's organization skills, determination, and "smarts". I was (and still am) very, very impressed!
Maya was one of the awesome group of travellers who went to France with Ms. E and myself last year. It was great fun to spend time with Maya outside of a school setting. I saw what a great sense of humour she has and that she is a very easy person to talk to. But here is what I will remember most of Maya from that trip: I guess that Maya suffers from motion sickness pretty bad. So - though I did not know this for about the first three days of the trip - it turns out that every time we rode the Paris Métro (even if it was just for a couple stops) Maya would quickly feel really unwell. Poor Maya. But the thing that amazed me was that she never complained! No whining. No sulking. She KNEW she would feel like crap but she'd crowd onto the subway with the rest of us. Perhaps she's get a little quiet (who wouldn't!). Perhaps she'd remove herself from the group a couple steps (fair enough!). But not a negative word passed her lips. This is so commendable! And, for comparisons sake, consider the following: on the first night in Paris I was having some... uh... stomach issues and I probably whined about it to everyone in our group (and anyone outside of it who listen to). I think I need to model myself after Maya's example in the future.
So glad you returned to King George for grades 11 and 12, Maya. And really happy that I got to teach (and travel with!!) you during that time. You have so many great qualities going for you. I know that you will continue to thrive at university (and outside of it) and be a great success. I wish you nothing but happiness (and a settled stomach). Take care!