Boy Meets World
Growing up as a 90’s kid, we all had the pleasure of knowing the infamous Mr. Feeny from the greatest show out at the time, Boy Meets World. I can distinctly remember Eric screaming “FEENY” from the fence anytime he needed advice or wanted to pester this poor old man. That teacher set such a high standard for me and what I hoped to gain and learn from teachers throughout my grade school years. It wasn’t until my ninth grade English class that I found my true Mr. Feeny. As I sit here now in my mid-twenties, I think about how I never really thanked that grade nine English teacher for all that she instilled in me – not too mention the torment I truly put her through!
Trouble was my middle name
Although I excelled in most of what you taught me, I was no stranger to getting myself into trouble. From talking too much to being late for almost every class. When the bell rung, I would waltz in (of course without a hall pass). And I would smirk at you as you rolled your eyes every single time. I can’t tell you how many times I heard my name being yelled out of your mouth, because I couldn’t shut up during class. Also how many times I got caught texting and had to turn over my phone. Whoops!
My first real heartbreak
I was fifteen and thought I knew everything about love and relationships. And any advice that was given to me to take things slow and focus on school went in one ear and out the other. For example, I remember being with this one guy for two months. And I had sworn up and down to everyone, including you, that I was going to marry him. I’ve remember showing up to that first period English class the night after we broke up, red eyed from crying all night, no makeup, and sluggish. So I stayed after class and you made sure I was okay. Then you and I talked for a while and you gave me a hall pass and sent me on my way. After that day, you went easier on me.
As if you knew my heart was aching and that I didn’t need the extra pressure. I would pop by every so often, to talk to you before cheerleading practice and you would always ask me how I was feeling about the situation. And the advice you gave me was unmatched. Even though my heart ached for a long time after that, you were there whenever I needed you. I could pop into your classroom during a free period and I knew you would be there to listen to me.
You showed me a love for literature I never knew I wanted and needed
It wasn’t until I was in your class at fifteen years old that I cared about literature. And who knew I would fall in love with it. You took no time dipping into Shakespeare. I distinctly remember the Romeo and Juliet play that you ever so gracefully played out before the entire class. And I can also remember you telling us this wasn’t a romance; this was a tragedy. So I did my best to believe you, but every part of this play pointed me in the direction that these two people were madly in love and everyone else around them was crazy. The way you brought every play and book we read to life made me realize I had a true love for this. Because it wasn’t the context of it that drew me in, it was how passionate you were about the material that made me open my eyes and fall in love.
Your “I don’t give a damn”attitude
Whenever your name was spoken through the halls, we all knew who you were. We all knew that you were the kindest human being walking the halls of our high school. But also never to mess with you. When we needed you, you were always there, but when we crossed you, you didn’t tolerate any of our shit. We could always come up with a thousand and one excuses, and you saw through every single one of them. When we weren’t truly applying ourselves in your class, you busted our asses and pushed us harder. It wasn’t in the kind of way that we felt so much pressure. Instead, it was the kind of way where we knew you loved us and wanted the best for us.
The love you had for your career and your students
I can remember watching you give so much to your job that it broke you down somedays. When you first started teaching you were so bright and happy. And I know the job eventually took its toll on you, but you kept pushing on. You pushed on – for us. Because for every lousy paper we turned in that was full of half-ass work, you were there for us. And when we were tardy to class, or being a “chatty Cathy” in the back of the room, you were there for us. But I admit that somedays we took you for granted. However, you never did. And anyone could see in your eyes, that every day, you looked forward to seeing us and teaching us. Because you kept this fire about you, and you took on our problems as if they were your own. So we could always lean on you. And when our world was falling apart, you helped to pick up the pieces. Even when we were boy/girl crazy and losing our minds, you brought us back down to earth. And when we finally graduated, you were cheering fo all of us.
Thank you for everything
Somedays, I wish I could go back. And sit back in that ninth-grade classroom in the annex of the high school and relive those days. To quote Andy Bernard, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”