Why Do We Have to Read This Book?

Write an essay in which you tell us about someone who has made an impact on your life and explain how and why this person is important to you.

“Darcy, why do we have to read this book?” I complained after school. “This book isn’t just stupid, it has no relevance in my life at all.” Because she was used to me asking questions like this, her only response was, “Because I told you. And I’m your teacher.” Darcy, or Mrs. Romondo, as I was supposed to call her, was my English teacher both my freshman and sophomore year. Not only was she one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, her influence on my academic career has impacted me in ways that resound throughout the rest of my life.I met Mrs. Romondo on the first day of my freshmen year in high school. I had gone to a relatively small middle school the two years previous, where I had known everyone, from the students to the faculty and staff. My high school had almost 1000 additional students along with dozens more faculty and staff, none of whom knew who I was or anything about me. On top of that, I was a little 14-year-old, walking the halls with almost seven foot tall seniors. Put lightly, I was terrified. Adding to that, the majority of my new teachers were more worried about controlling the thirty out of control students, than in reassuring one student. However, when I walked Mrs. Romondo’s calm and quiet room, she met me with a handshake and a bright smile. My day after that was no longer quite as scary. Mrs. Romondo quickly became my favorite teacher, and I spent more time in class talking to her than actually doing my work. I could talk to her about anything: school, family, boys, even problems with other teachers. She became more than just a teacher, but a confidante whom I could tell anything.The next year, as luck would have it, I was once again in her English class. She was still someone I could tell anything to, and it became a daily routine for me to stay a couple minutes after class so I could vent to her about the daily drama that is high school. Mrs. Romondo was never too busy to hear me rant for a few minutes, and she never judged me or told me I was wrong. When I was on the verge of making a bad decision, she was always ready to offer me an alternative, but never told me which one to choose. In class, she constantly pushed me, and never let me get away with an okay assignment, but pushed me to do my best. More often than not, I would turn in papers that exceeded her requirements just to prove to her that I could do what she expected of me, and more.From Mrs. Romondo I learned more than just the symbolism in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or what Shakespeare really meant when he wrote “Romeo and Juliet”. She taught me to never stop with good, but to get the best. She constantly encouraged me to strive to do better, even when there were times I thought I couldn’t do better. When our class had to read “Red Badge of Courage” and I didn’t want to, she reminded me that at times there are things we don’t want to do, but we must do them anyway. She taught me to understand that not all people are the same, but we should respect them regardless. Her positive attitude and constant smile, even when dealing with freshman throwing dictionaries and licking windows, reminded me that although certain things stress you out, everything will work out in the end. Almost all the pivotal moments one learns in the transition from middle to high school were taught in her corner classroom under the butterfly mobiles.When I hugged her goodbye the day I left, it was hard to imagine what my life would be like without her. The last words she said to me as I walked out of her room were, “Don’t change. No matter what, please do not change.” Her forcing me to work with other people, read “The Crucible” and other novels I didn’t want to read, and allowing me to speak my mind helped form the person that I am. Without her, I would not be who am I today, and because of that I will always be in her debt. Just not to her swear jar this time.

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