Orissa came to King George when she was in grade 11 and I was lucky enough to have her in my Math class that year. I'm not sure if Orissa would consider herself "lucky" to have been there (Orissa is not the world's biggest math fan). However, she was always a delightful, friendly and determined student. It was a pleasure to teach her math.
However, years from now, I will not remember Orissa's efforts in Pre-Calculus 11. Instead, I will remember so many other special things about her:
- Orissa is a voracious reader. Throughout her two years at KG we kind of started our own (tiny) bookclub... just me and her. I would recommend books to her and she would do the same for me. Hate to go all "hipster-reader" on you but Orissa beat ALL of you when it came to "The Fault in Our Stars". She read it WAY before you did (and so did I when she recommended it to me). Also, I am proud to say that it was me who got Orissa interested in Game of Thrones (she insists that she "is done with it" now but she was pretty darn obsessed with it for a while there...).
- Orissa is an accomplished writer. Even from the minimal amount of writing I assigned in Math class, it was clear that Orissa has a unique, humourous and compelling way of writing. It was no surprise at all when she announced that she would be studying Journalism (it WAS journalism right, Orissa?) at university.
- Orissa made all my mornings better. Because she came from Bowen Island (by ferry!) Orissa had to arrive at school very early. She would often sit by her locker (outside my classroom) and do homework or read a book. This is where I came to expect - and usually happily discover - Orissa each morning. It was truly a wonderful way to start my day by sharing a few laughs or some book thoughts with Orissa. Now, I often walk to room 311 in the morning and find nobody there... The school seems so quiet and empty. At times like this, I often think of Orissa and wish she was still at KG. :(
- Orissa is a great conversationalist. You know how with some people you struggle to find things to talk about? Or you feel like you carry all the conversations? Or that the other person doesn't really listen to you? Well that is NOT Orissa. She is a great person to spend time with and to talk to. In fact, just last week we met up for a drink. I was shocked when we left and I realized that 3 hours had passed! Where did the time go? That's what happens when someone is so engaging and interesting.
- Orissa LOVES her sisters (and her whole family). I like spending time with people who unabashedly love their families and Orissa is definitely one of those people. Her little sister, Nell, used to go to KG and it was so obvious when I saw them together that they have a very caring and supportive relationship. Very special!
I could go on and on but I don't want to embarrass Orissa. Suffice to say, that I miss seeing her every day at school and have nothing but fond memories of her.
Currently, Orissa is about to start her last year at the University of Victoria (which she really likes and which YOU should consider going to). She has switched her major to Women's Studies and is still figuring out what she will do after she graduates next year (whatever it is, she is sure to thrive at it!).
Orissa also works as a Residence Supervisor (not sure if that's what it's called). Basically, her job involves ensuring students living in Residence are following all the rules. This puts her in some pretty uncomfortable positions (having to quiet parties down, ask people to leave, etc). One would think that she would quickly become the most unpopular person at UVic. It is a testament to her charming personality and people skills that, at the completion of the school year, many of her charges come to her in tears, thanking her for the difference she has made in their university experience.
What a amazing person! So happy that we got to catch up this summer, Orissa! Thanks for all the nice memories you left me with during your time at King George. Hope we get to create a few new ones in the years ahead! Love ya!