I have been blessed to have some incredible educators in my life, but recently I have had a serious appreciation for one high school class and teacher in particular.
Flash forward to present day: about two months ago I was presented with an incredible opportunity to take over the entire marketing effort of a financial practice that manages an incredible amount of money; legally I cannot tell you how much, but trust me, it’s a lot.
I am not a marketing major. My degree is in finance and economics which landed me in the office I am now, but my marketing background is limited. It is something that has appeared to come to me naturally at this point in my life, but to be honest, it isn’t a natural talent, it was something I had to work at and develop and I owe it to my writing ability.
In my Junior year of high school I took AP English Language Composition. It was about as dreadful as it sounds. It is a class that is essentially built around developing an effective argument on paper. A complete breakdown of argument and logic. To the intellectual it sounds interesting when you put it like that, but the logistics involved are anything but. It is brutal. A grueling process and deconstruction of the English language.
It takes a special brain to appreciate this type of study – I didn’t have that. The work in this class for me was… painful at best.
Fortunately I had the most incredible teacher – Betty Tuso. Ms. Tuso was and will always be one of my heroes. She is the model teacher. Passionate about her subject and her students.
It was her passion for her subject – and in me as a person – that forced me to give the attention to syntax and diction; a topic that many people avoid like the plague. But, because of this class, Ms. Tuso and her love of teaching, that I am where I am today. Again, I am not a marketing guru, but because of this class I learned to develop an effective argument and write like a champ. This skill landed me the dream job for a college student. Not too many people can claim the title of Marketing Director at the age of 21.
Now, despite Ms. Tuso’s expected chagrin, my grammar still leaves a lot to be desired, but the fundamentals of persuasive writing are still there (I also owe a massive thank you to Mary Groves for my professional writing skills).
My point here is this. I’ve done a lot in life to this point even though I’m still basically a kid. I’m not bragging. I am saying thank you. I wouldn’t be here without you.
Saying thank you is important.
You never sugar coated it. When I was wrong, I was wrong. When I wasn’t preforming, you let me know. When the quality wasn’t there, it wasn’t there and while at times I severely disliked you for pushing me to the limit and being so tough I realize now that I owe you everything.
Thank you to the incredible educators that I’ve had. You irritated me. You made me feel uncomfortable and pressured, but you never made me feel inadequate. You pushed me to achieve things I didn’t think I could. And because of that, I am on a journey that I could have only dreamed of – because of you.