A Kind Word Can Change Your Life

6 Feb

I grew up in a backwater town in New Jersey in the Eastern United States. My final year of elementary school was a one room classroom with a single teacher and eight fellow students. One day as we neared graduation, a counselor from the high school (secondary) showed up and like the sorting hat in Hogwarts, divided us into college prep and business.

Eighth grade graduation age 14

No one asked me if I wanted to go to college. I’d never seen a college, didn’t know anyone who went and wasn’t sure why anyone would go. I was extremely naïve. For college preparation I was required to take a foreign language. I chose Spanish for some reason and ended up in the classroom of Mrs. Durst.

I liked her a lot. Her gentle manner and attentive spirit made her class a pleasure that I looked forward to. One day she casually told me that I had a good accent. For some unknown reason her compliment affected me deeply and stayed with me to this day. It changed the trajectory of my life.

Junior year abroad, making tamales with my Mexican family.

I did end up in college and chose Mexico for a junior year abroad program. My one year of Spanish proved insufficient and I selected an intensive Spanish class, four days a week. When my program was completed I chose to live in Texas where I could continue to use Spanish and be closer to my beloved Mexico.

The ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan. A foreign language can change your world.

Today I am retired and live full time in southern Mexico. I can’t imagine living anywhere I would not speak Spanish. Who knows where my life would have been if not for a casual compliment by a beloved teacher. We just never know the affect we have on each other. I have looked for her several times to no avail. Thank you Fran Durst.

DOS TORTAS

11 Responses to “A Kind Word Can Change Your Life”

  1. Nancy Day February 6, 2022 at 12:57 pm #

    Muy bueno, amiga. Palabras, si. Te amo, Nancy

    On Sun, Feb 6, 2022 at 7:02 AM the adventures of dos tortas wrote:

    > afish25 posted: ” I grew up in a backwater town in New Jersey in the > Eastern United States. My final year of elementary school was a one room > classroom with a single teacher and eight fellow students. One day as we > neared graduation, a counselor from the high school (seco” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 6, 2022 at 2:02 pm #

      Hey Nancy, looks like you studied a little Spanish yourself! Love you too.

      Like

  2. Karen February 6, 2022 at 6:28 pm #

    I envy you. I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer through high school. Took Spanish at the junior college as an adult. Never could speak it very well–too shy. Now I’m 75, this country is falling apart, I dream of running away and doubt if I have the courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jack Scott February 7, 2022 at 4:55 am #

    Fortuitous indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. RudeinNewYork February 10, 2022 at 11:15 pm #

    Nice witness to tge power of education

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 February 11, 2022 at 8:47 am #

      I have a middle school teacher who is a whole other story. Completely changed my life.

      Like

  5. Emilie February 11, 2022 at 1:27 pm #

    Good teachers and kind teachers are a real treasure.

    Liked by 1 person

Hey hey what have you got to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

smcghee333

A fine WordPress.com site

rudeinnewyork

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Emilie Vardaman

travel and random thoughts

midwife87505's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

A Dead Kennedy

: A journal of a very slooow marathon swimmer

The Soulful Word

Intuitive copywriter + content creator: word whispering magic for lightworkers

View From Casita Colibrí

gringa musings from a rooftop terrace in Oaxaca

Your Hand in Mind

Musings of a human factors engineer after her brain was released...

Our House In...

Living where we are

Surviving Yucatan

Smoothing out Mexico's rough spots.

A Boy and Her Dog

Traversing the Border between Butch and Transgender

Surviving Mexico

Adventures and Disasters

Just Another Moment in Paradise

Snippets of an Adventure's Life in Cozumel, Mexico

Perking the Pansies

Jack Scott's random ramblings

Mexico Retold

There's more to Mexico than meets the media

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Amazon Express

From the most distant source to the sea.

Biketrash Holiday

Adventures on Two Wheels!

%d bloggers like this: