Today is the full moon and this moon marks Guru Purnima, a day to honor our gurus, or teachers.
As someone who has valued learning and been successful at school, I’ve had pretty good relationships with most of my academic teachers along the way. I am also a self-motivated, independent learner, some one who is confident in my ability to find out what I need to know. I also hate being told what to do. I tend to learn best through brutal experience. I care more about the knowledge than the A grade. These qualities can make having a mentor rather tricky for me.
Today I’d like to honor the many teachers who have left their mark on me. There are many people whose names I don’t remember any more (I’ve got depression related issues with my memory from my 20s), so they will be remembered in spirit when I light my candle and list the following names.
First, there is my academic life and all the teachers I’ve had along the way. I am grateful to most of them. Mr Len Peterson, my 10th grade geometry teacher, immediately comes to mind. He was always available for assistance. Thanks to him I got my first A in math. I am grateful for Sarah Boss, my PhD adviser, for her encouragement and enthusiasm for my ideas.
I spent 20 years studying classical voice. Along the way I’ve had some good teachers, some awful teachers, and some great teachers. I am especially grateful for John D’Armand and Byron McGilvray, who early on gave me good technique and believed that I could do something big with my voice. More recently, I am grateful to Ann Moss who restored fun to my lessons and explored my voice with me when I was pregnant with my first child.
I am grateful for Carolyn Brown, yogini extraordinaire. I am grateful to Mike Miller (may he rest in peace), my swimming coach, for being like a second father to me.
Spiritually, I am grateful to my uncle Jon for sending me my very first Bible of my own, to Fr. Mark Koczak for showing me the beauty of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, to T Thorn Coyle for being perhaps my first Official teacher, and most especially to my present teachers, W & N, who are the teachers I’ve always wanted.
The list could not be complete without mentioning my ever loving husband, Adam, and our two children. Nothing has been more character building and more educational to me than the commitment to life long relationship, and all three of my immediate family members teach me this every single day.