I'm so happy to make Mia the S.o.t.W.! I believe she may be the first one from her grad class. And this is apropos because Mia is one of the most special grads of 2013!!
I only taught Mia a couple of times but she has probably spent more time in my classroom than almost anyone! There were a couple of years where she was one of three fantastic students (Ivana R and Yeou Lin C being the other two) who came to visit / do homework / get help almost every single day. We came to be a very close-knit group!
The thing I will always remember about Mia was her tremendous work-ethic and determination. Mia found Pre-Calculus 11 difficult at times and, to be honest, her interests are much more to do with Literature and Writing than Mathematics. But she never wavered. She came for help. She struggled through some of her assignments... but she DID them. She had moments of doubt but did not let this stop her. I was so proud of Mia when she finished the course with a very high grade. Way to go MK!
Mia paid me one of the highest compliments I have ever received from a student. Upon completing Pre-Calculus 11 (with that aforementioned great mark) she said to me something to the effect of: "I doubt I will remember much of the math I learned this year for very long, but you helped me see that I can do anything I want if I just put my mind to it".
YEEEEESSSSSS!!!! This is what I want ALL my students to KNOW!! Not just as a CONCEPT but as a FACT!! You CAN do ANYTHING!! But you have to be willing to WORK, to STRUGGLE, to PERSEVERE, to WITHSTAND frustration and self-doubt. YOU CAN DO IT!!
So, now that she knows that she can do anything, what has Mia chosen to do? In her own words:
"I'm finishing up at Langara now and I have registered to start at UBC in September. After completing my Bachelor of Arts, my goal is to get into law school. Among other things, my ultimate goal is to be a published author. I'm also volunteering at a charity thrift store run by an organization called Battered Women's Support Services once a week (second year running!). And, in June, I will be running Scotiabank's 5K charity marathon in support of my charity."
Mia was always the sort of student to give back to her school and her community. I am not at all surprised that she has continued this practice after her highschool career ended. And I am also not surprised that she has big goals for herself in the future.
You were truly a wonderful student Mia. I will remember always the many laughs we shared after school as well as some of the more serious talks too. Thanks for always being so thoughtful, warm and friendly with me. You are a very special person and I wish you all the best. I look forward to the day that I can ask you to autograph my copy of your latest best-selling novel. Don't forget about your old math teacher when you become famous, Mia!!!