by Shadra Bruce

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Day.

The impact teachers have had on my life is enormous and extends far beyond the classroom.

I will always be grateful for my teachers:

Miss Lawson, my kindergarten teacher, who fostered my love of reading.

My sixth grade teacher Elden Jantzen, who scared me out of ever ever trying drugs while teaching me more than anyone about the constructs of our language.

Sheryl Henley, my first French teacher and longtime friend, who transformed me into a lifelong Francophone.

Steven Loughrin-Sacco, my French professor at BSU who helped me through one of the worst periods of my life while helping me believe I could speak French, not just read and write it.

Paul Strong, at Alfred University, who rekindled my love of English and challenged me to think more critically and reach further than I ever had and became a surrogate parent during my first stint in New York after my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I felt lost and alone.

Adel Al-Sharkas, who is the most honorable, intelligent man I’ve had the pleasure to know, who taught me more about understanding the function of money here and around the world than I ever thought possible, and who continues to be my friend all these years, which makes my heart so happy.

Cheryl Hindrichs, my Boise State prof who was solely responsible for my ability to survive grad school as a non-English major undergrad.

These people have all impacted and shaped my life, and I am forever grateful.