Saturday, December 04, 2004

Blast From The Past

Whilst trying to clean out my e-mail, I found a forward from SA-Reunited. A Site dedicated to reuniting old school friends: the South African version of And out of sheer curiosity, I decided to take a peek and update my profile.

Searching for new names, I was surprised to find that there was a teacher registered with the site. Normally teachers don’t like to add themselves to these sites (which is understandable considering that there are some hooligans, you’d rather not hear from again… ever again!) Curiosity instantly took over me and I scrolled to see who the brave teacher was! With my luck… it was probably someone before my time, someone I’d probably never even heard of.
Imagine my surprise on recognising the name as the famous art teacher! Oh yeah! There’s definitely no forgetting our art teacher. An outspoken lady with plenty of imagination! I recall us commenting on her daring outfits and our shock at her creativity. No matter whether you took classes with her or not, you were well aware of her presence and contribution to the school. Every student that went into her class… walked out an artist one way or another. She knew how to make people bring out the best in their work: this was her big talent.
Back when choosing my subjects, art was something placed on the backburner. Besides the fact that I couldn’t draw to save my life and that my stick mannetjies looked more like scribbles than actual people, I had decided to invest in Business Economics and Typing as my two supplementary subjects. I don’t regret taking typing, for thanks to those annoying sticks and the constant “keep those fingers on the home row!” reminder… I can know out-type anybody in my office and in a world where time is money; fast typing skills can become your biggest asset.
Business Economics however was one of the most tedious subjects I ever took, along with mathematics… I learnt formulas I’ll never again use and learnt theories that are far from the actual methods practised in businesses today.

I dropped both these subjects in Grade 10.

The reason I hadn’t considered art back then was because I thought that it couldn’t contribute to my future. I thought business economics and typing were subjects I could invest in a future career and that art did nothing for that growth. I wish I knew then what I knew now… I’d definitely made a few different choices.
Art and Music are subjects that can contribute to your future as much as other subjects. If they don’t contribute to your professional skills, they will contribute to your personal ones, either way; they leave some kind of seed for development, if you let them of course.

Even though I hadn’t taken art with that specific teacher, I decided to send her an e-mail in any case. Back then I was someone barely noticed, however I wanted to let her know about the difference she made in my life. Perhaps directly, she contributed very little but she belongs to a family in my past that helped develop the person I am today. I needed to thank her, give her the appreciation that I’m sure her salary, as a teacher never gave. Perhaps even remind her, of the true contribution of her profession.

Clicking the send button on the e-mail, I allowed myself to travel back memory lane. You never know, just how deep your footsteps are left when you walk into someone’s life. I wish I had the opportunity to give my column to my English teachers to read. I’m sure they’d probably have a great time correcting my grammar and sentence construction. On the other hand I hope they’d be pleased that I was inspired enough by the language they taught me, to keep writing. They taught me how to express myself and although English is no longer my first language, it will always be my preference. Did I remember to thank them on my last day of school?

Why conclude the obvious? We all want to be a pleasant memory in someone’s heart. This makes us special; it is this that makes us immortal. Some people spend their whole lives trying to find their mission in life. I’ve always known what mine is and it is my mission is life that I leave you with:
Life your life so that everyone that remembers you, does so with a smile.

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