Women Who’ve Shaped Me

I know I’m a little late in joining the celebration, but to all the women who have shaped me that I cannot write about today – Thank you.

There are two particular women I have decided to write about made the most significant impact on my future career and school-success. The first one, let’s call her Ms. Super. Ms. Super was my 9th grade science teacher. New to the school, Ms. S’s passion for the subject was both overwhelming and consuming – not an easy task for one teaching a bunch of rowdy 13 year olds. Until attending her class each day in the winter semester, yours truly had no solid interest or understanding of science, no passion to understand the beauty of its mysteries, the complexities of its simplest beings. Ms. S managed to draw me out from behind my science-trepidation, my disability to understand and ‘get’ the concepts and introduced me – started, even, my love affair with biology.

In my last year at high school I found myself in a computer lab full of new grade 9 students with Ms. Super as their instructor. After the class was over (as it was a particularly difficult one for her) I commented on how lucky those students were, as I was lucky 4 years ago, to have her as a teacher. Her unwavering passion for science, teaching and mentoring young students will no doubt be her legacy – and her greatest gift to the future. I have no doubt in my mind that Ms. Super has inspired countless others to pursue what interests them the most, introduced others to something they never thought they would like or, like in my case, excel in despite obvious difficulties.

The second woman I have decided to write about is my Sensei. Well, was my Sensei. At 5’2 (the same height as me) this incredibly strong, kind and intelligent woman has her own business, 2 children, a loving husband, and is a black belt 3 times over. As a skinny, small, naïve 8th grader, this woman through her guidance, instruction, passion and confidence in me, taught me discipline, courage, and guided me all the way to my blue (5/8) belt. In the year and a half I was under her tutelage, I gained tremendous self-respect, self-confidence, discipline and honour – qualities that I have seen lacking in many of the people I have had the displeasure of knowing.

The Dojo I attended was my happy place for 2 years – and when I had to leave it was the saddest day of my pre-teen years. In that small studio in the South-West end of this city I trained my body and my mind to overcome physical, mental and emotional adversity, all the while kicking ass with graceful and powerful movements. Not bad for a 5’2, 100 pound ‘little girl’. The movements and grace have stuck with me and is evident in every kickboxing aerobics class I attend – the discipline has stuck with me as well, which is the greatest lesson my Sensei ever taught me. In the earning of each belt I saw the benefits of hard work and dedication, and although I never reached the top level – in her eyes and maybe, eventually in mine, I am a success. And for that thought I am forever grateful.

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~ by Carrie on March 27, 2007.

3 Responses to “Women Who’ve Shaped Me”

  1. A great post! i love this idea and it sounds like you had some wonderful influences in your life. (As a teacher, I’m especially biased to any mention of a teacher being a good influence!)

  2. Those 2 teachers were incredible influences in my life – and I think that teachers are in the BEST position to influence people; well, little people but people nonetheless!

    And trust me; we NEVER forget the good ones who tell us we can do something!

  3. Aww, great post Carrie, what an awesome way to pay it forward too!

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