Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Exercise #6: Returning Thanks

Exercise #6: Returning Thanks

Write a thank you note (or even an e-mail) to someone this week.  Tell the person specifically what he or she did that made a difference to you. 
Okay, so I may or may not have written my thank you note this week . . . but I definitely did not get it delivered.  Sheesh.  I actually had several people that I thought of with this assignment, though.  So, if you're reading this, you're probably one of them.  Thank you.  For being a good friend, sister, neighbor, mentor, or example.  Anne wrote a thank you note to a sweet sister in her ward who touched her when she bore her testimony in church.  (She's also a pretty wonderful friend and neighbor, I hear.)  What I came out of this one with was a feeling of gratitude that there are so many wonderful people in my life that make it fuller and more blessed. 

In this chapter, Watts described a teacher, Mrs. Silcox, her AP English teacher, who was instrumental in her life choices, and it reminded me of a couple of really great teachers I had in school.  I don't think it's a coincidence that all of them were talented language arts/English teachers--I am a bit partial to reading and writing!  Of course, the first I thought of was JJ Abernathy, my AP English teacher.  She'd probably be appalled at the degeneration of my writing skills, but she was such an example to me.  Watts described her Mrs. Silcox and how she "didn't just read the papers we turned in; she commented on them, sometimes at length.  She always made me feel like there were things she and I understood differently from the rest of the students in our class."  As I read this passage, I was struck by how like my Mrs. Abernathy she was!  Her interest and encouragement in my writing added to my self-worth, both in high school and as an adult. 

I also thought of my 7th grade English teacher, Kaye Bair.  I specifically remember her spending extra time giving me input on a story I was writing for my own enjoyment.  And, coincidentally, this week I've thought a lot about an assignment she gave us to write a thank you letter to someone that had influenced us.  I don't remember if it was part of the assignment to write a teacher, but I did.  I wrote my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Ashton, who gave me the opportunity to be one of two students from my school to attend a special creative writing conference, and who encouraged my aspirations to become an author.  Mrs. Bair sent that letter to Mrs. Ashton, and I remember receiving a response.  I don't remember what she said, but I do remember the feeling it gave me. 

And with the memory of that feeling, I am recommitted to get this week's thank you letter sent!  

This week's exercise: Understanding Men


Cameron and Nonie said...

I don't have your email address, so I'll have to give you a thank you note here. You were so much fun to be around during that little Jr Miss thingy and I always had so much fun talking to you. I love that all these years later I still get to "chat" with you, or at least check up and see how you're doing. You are a wonderful person and I'm so glad that our paths crossed way back when. I admire your desire and steadfastness in becoming the best you can. It is inspiring to know there is someone I know who struggles with the same things and is willing to share how they are working through it. Keep at it. I'm rooting for you. Love you and have a wonderful day. Oh, and Thanks, just for being you.


Suzy said...

Wonderful post. I *try* to pull the stationary out at least a couple times a month and drop hand written notes to people. Half the time they end up being thank you notes. It is uplifting to give to others.

Molly said...

Loved Mrs. Abernathy!