14 Feb 2007 • 1,383 views
Journey of a Lifetime
SINEM IN THE HOUSE.
Photography by Sinem; editing by Suby.
It's Valentines' Day and I wanted to celebrate the day with a photo of my little sister, Helen and her fiance Gaz. Two months today, Helen and Gaz will tie the knot and take that first step on the path to 'happily ever after'.
A young couple full of life, love and joy, I hear you say, followed by a deep sigh and punctuated by an 'aaaaawwwww'. For me though, they are more than just a young couple in love. For me, Helen is a former student from my first GCSE class and now a little sister - we are still not sure who adopted whom but what does it matter?
Four years ago, Helen was only another teenage face in my first GCSE
group of a bunch of crazy fifteen year olds. Painfully arthiritic, she had to use a laptop
which I was not made aware of. To make matters worse, my tyrannic
department head decided she shouldn't be allowed one. When I announced
this the next day, I got a phone call from Helen's mum in the afternoon
where she had a go at me and reduced me to tears. It was my first week
as a teacher, here I was on a Friday afternoon, sitting in the
staffroom, crying my eyes out. Needless to say, Year 10 parents
evenings were not experiences I looked forward to that year as the said
parent kept me on my toes for the whole year.
year, Helen found out she also had diabetes. I was organising a trip to
London for my English class to see 'Of Mice and Men'. Prior to the
trip, Helen's mum came to see me with instructions about food and the
use of hypogel in the case of an episode. Everything went well on the
trip and the next day I got a lovely bouquet of flowers thanking me for taking
care of Helen.
Helen also wrote a coursework piece at the time
titled 'A Life in the Day of...' where students were meant to write
about one single day in their lives but tell me as much as they could
about their lives, friends, family, goals and dreams. Despite all the
health problems she was suffering, Helen's piece was a life lesson in
optimism and 'stiff upper lip'; two concepts I've personally always
By the end of the school year, I had become
Helen's favourite teacher. We organised a theme park trip for Year 10
and 11 kids who would be interested; needless to say, Helen was on the
trip and I had all the instructions about her medication I kept with me
through the day. A lot of laughter, many rides, a good trip, another
lovely bouquet of flowers... I also got to find out that half the time it was my
department head who had singlehandedly taken steps to destroy our
relations from that first day on. Now that the truth was out, Helen and
I bonded through our shared experience of two years, two trips and our
shared goal of getting her a C in English despite the absences she'd
had due to poor health.
Helen had also got engaged and was
planing a wedding in 2007; as I was planning to get married in 2006, I
had quite a number of girls in my class asking if they could be my
bridesmaids and in a flippant mood, on one of the last days with my
first ever GCSE class (my babies, as I refer to them now) I made a joke
about being Helen's bridemaid! The next day she officially asked me if
I could be her bridesmaid. I can't wait for 14 April 2007 when I will be
donning my blue bridesmaid dress and following lovely Helen up the
aisle and share one of the happiest days in her life.
taught me how every teenager is speacial in their own way no matter how
troublesome and fragile your relationship may be at the beginning of
the long journey ahead. We've made the journey together, and I have
learned to lay my cards on the table and show my students that their
welfare and success are my priorities; even if they might not make you
their bridesmaid, they will still appreciate you for your hard work,
dedication and honesty.
Thank you Helen, for teaching me that even the most hopeless beginnings can lead us to pricelss journeys of love, trust, mutual respect and friendship.
May the journey you've set out on with Gaz prove to be such...
Happy Valentines' All!
'Ars longa, vita brevis.'
||Canon EOS 20D|
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