The first time I had my heart broken by a book, it was in your class. We read Quentin Compson’s emotional breakdown in terms of word choice and syntax, and all I could think of was the twisted hands of a ticking watch and the broken man at the bottom of the Charles River.
The first time I had my heart broken by a boy, you were there too. You gave me what I thought was a cheesy young adult novel and told me to read. That day you taught me that I was the world, and a ridiculous teenager in dirty Chuck Taylor’s was not and could never be my Armageddon.
You started my love affair with spicy hummus, and gave impetus to my first Angry Feminist rant about sexual consent (I’m sorry Aaron).
I remember sitting in debate, mocking your southern drawl and lamenting your (what I thought were poor) book choices. I remember complaining to you about Paul D’s pretentious tin heart. I remember the twinkle in your eye as you laughed at our Earnest attempts at British accents.
Leaving your class was bittersweet, but you stuck with me, even through college. You advised me through dozens of recipes, 2 changes of major, 1 failed relationship, and too many existential crises to count. You told me to “be young” and I don’t think I would have if you didn’t.
You weren’t just an Advanced Placement Literature teacher. You were an educator in the school of life, and most importantly, a friend.
And it is in your Beloved memory, Patti Magee, that I am participating in Relay For Life this year.
Thank you for everything