This photo is very apropos because the thing I (will always) remember most about Nataly is that big (BIG!!) beautiful smile of hers. This is a girl who is always looking for the bright side of life and (when she finds it) her face shows it! What a great trait! Such a lovely person to be around. She has the amazing ability to "light up" whatever room she finds herself in.
Another thing I remember about Nataly was how she always thanked me after (almost) every class. Not just "goodbye" but "Thanks Mr. Wadge". It was very sweet and very much appreciated. Especially after a class that hadn't gone as well as I wanted it to go, it made a big difference to me to have Nataly offer a quick "thank-you". Such a great demonstration that the little things really make a BIG difference. So... after all these years... thank YOU Nataly for always making my day a little brighter.
Nataly and I were in the same French 12 class and it was great to be able to see her both as my student (in math class) and my classmate (in French). In both cases, she brings a great enthusiasm to whatever is being studied / discussed. This is so important as a teacher, to have some students who "drive" the rest of the class. But I also found it so useful as a student. If I was feeling lethargic, with thoughts of "Why am I spending my Spare Block taking French, anyway?", I only needed to watch (or, more likely, HEAR) Nataly and I'd find myself inspired to stop complaining and start working. She's like a gentle (but effective) kick in the butt... and she probably doesn't even know it!
I am so pleased with Nataly's "plan" for herself. Talk about a great fit:
"Currently I am attending UBC full time majoring in Psychology and working part time at the West End Community Centre as a program assistant for youth programs! It’s lots of fun and I get to work with the wonderful youth that currently attend King George! I’m hoping once I graduate (1.5 years woohoo!) to become a community youth worker at a community Centre, and hopefully later get a masters in either social work or counselling psychology!"
Those are some lucky young people you are working with, Nataly! I know that you will be successful and that you will make a BIG difference with lots of people (I just hope that they will all remember to say "Thank You"!!). You already made a difference with me and I will always remember you fondly!
Love you N.K.!!