Who made the difference in your life?

by Jeanne Barr April 10, 2018 3 min read

Currently I work for a corporation that is overseen by a board of directors, and recently we held our annual meeting where all could come and hear about our past year of business and our plan for the current year.

When the president of the board stood up to give his speech, he commented on the fact that our current board includes his high school English teacher, so he would double check everything that he presented to the board for perfect grammar.

I smiled inside because this same member of the board was not only my junior and senior high English teacher, but she also held another very special place in my heart. Let me tell you why.

When I was nearing the end of 8th grade, Mrs. I came up to me and said that she would love to have me on her forensics team the following year as a freshman. She said that she saw great potential in me and that I would truly enjoy it. I have always been taught to respect my elders and to do what I was told, so I politely told her that I would like that.

Later that evening I approached my mom and asked her what forensics was. To my complete and utter dismay, she told me forensics was the art of public speaking and presentation. I was horrified. Not only had I agreed to do it, but I had told Mrs. I that I was happy to do it.

I told my mom that I had agreed to go out for the team, but now that I knew what it was, I did not want anything to do with it. Giving a speech and being judged at the same time was not something I was excited to do. I am sure my mom secretly giggled inside knowing that I would not have the guts to tell Mrs. I that I did not want to compete and that ultimately it would be the best thing for me.

In my freshman year I was busy with sports, working at the local restaurant, and of course milking cows and doing chores on the farm. But the sign was posted at the school; it was time to sign up for forensics.

I am quite certain I said a prayer hoping that Mrs. I had completely forgotten about our conversation at the end of last year. My prayer was not answered—she remembered.

She recommended that I start out doing a four minute speech. I had to come up with an idea to not only present, but to write about myself. I really do not remember that speech at all, but I do remember that I fell in love not only with writing, but with speaking as well, right then and there. I continued on the Forensics team all four years of high school and advanced to the state competition each year.

That night at the annual meeting I wanted to tell the whole crowd about this wonderful board member that had made such a difference in my life. Because of her influence, I was able to stand in front of the crowd and speak, and writing for this blog, FlagRUs.

It makes me think of the ending of this school year and what a difference a teacher can make in the life of a child. Teachers give gifts that can never be repaid are is due a big thank you.

Check out FlagsRUs and see the wonderful gift ideas for your favorite teachers—perhaps a teacher from the past who could use a nice gift as a reminder that he or she made a difference in your own life or the life of your child or grandchild.

I love this one, I hope Mrs. I does too.

Happy Trail Farms is so thankful to Mrs. I for believing me.


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