Sunday, April 22, 2007


My maths teacher of four years died last night. She was one of my favourite teachers ever. She was good to me, better than most teachers. She cared about stuff that happened to me, outside maths and homework and exams. When Mum and Dad hit a rough spot, she talked to me. When I had my own problems with other stuff, she'd make time to sit down and chat. When I was struggling with work, she'd find time to come and help me. She always asked about Africa Aid events, and when she could come see them, and she would always give us lots of money, any time I had a tin in the classroom.

She told the best stories. We'd have so many classes where the work got too hard, so we'd ask abstract questions about life and see if it got her started. Once she did, she would not stop till the bell, and we knew there would be no work that day. We also wanted to hear them though, because she would make us laugh, and be interested, and want to be in class all the time. Even though it was the hardest class, she helped make Spec. Maths one of the best last year.

In fourth term, she left us. With her leukemia playing up, she was checked into hospital, and I never saw her again. She was too sick for us to send flowers or cards, because they might contaminate her. We felt compelled to work harder and try harder, because she'd put so much belief and hard work into us, that she deserved our good results more than we did. We got reports after exams, that she was better and planning a holiday to Tasmania.

Before she left, Mrs. Kjar told us we were one of her favourite classes ever, even though she'd been at Trinity for decades. She told us how much it would mean to her if we wrote her a letter, telling her our results and plans for the future, when we were finished school and moving on in the world. I never wrote that letter. I don't know how I feel. Even though she's gone, I'm going to write it now.

Dear Mrs. Kjar,

Thank you for being so good to me, through everything I've dealt with the last few years. You were someone I knew I could always come to, who would have an ear for me, and a heart too. I learnt lots of things from you, and maths is probably low on that list.

Thank you for your honesty, your care, your love, your patience, for everything. Thank you for believing I could finish up with maths, even when I wanted to quit. Thank you for caring enough to ask how I was going, even if you didn't know there was something going on. Thank you for giving up time for me. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. Thank you for inspiring me.

I'm sorry you will never get this letter. I don't know how to sum up how I feel or how grateful I am to you. This letter will never be able to do that. I could write another hundred. They still won't add up. I wish I even knew what to say. But for now. Just. Thank you. You made a big impact on my life, and so many others in the world. I was blessed to know you. You will never be forgotten.

Goodbye Mrs. Kjar. God Bless You.




  1. I'm really sorry to hear about your teacher. I she sounds so amazing, i remember you tell me about. I'm so glad you had the opportunity to get to know her and be blessed by doing so. Your letter is so moving and i believe she knows how you feel about her. May her memory live forever.
    Love, K

  2. I kind of understand how you feel. In year 8, probably my favourite teacher ever, the one who introduced me to the world of computers, died. He was even my form teacher. As my woodwork/metalwork teacher, he never really did anything drastic for me, but it was for a term of the year when we didn't have accsess to the wood/metal rooms, that he really made an impact. We spent the whole time, 5 periods a week,in a maths room, and he taught us about, primarily, design and creativity, and told us stuff about life while we drew/scribbled. And then, one day, he even taught me about how I could do all this sort of stuff on the computer, and introduced me to photoshop, illustrator, etc., while I was in a double library period. i don't now why he was hanging around in the library.
    Anyway, he died. I also wasn't sure how I felt, exactly. During his reign as my teacher, he taught me how to draw characatures. I drew one of him, and after his death one of the art teachers asked me if they could keep it and give it to his family as a symbolicness thing of his students. When I gave it to them, I found out that he, and his family, went to Crossways, and were all Christians. I still don't know why, but that fact seemed especially relevent at the time. He probably goes down as one of my heroes. Whatever that means.
    So I guess I can kind of understand what it's like. It's not good, and it seems so unfair, also.

    So, sorry if I've written a comment so long that it takes forever to read, but, I dunno, I kept writing.


  3. K: Thank you for your kind words. I hope her memory does live forever. Maybe I'll see her again one day. Hopefully I learn to not leave it too late to tell someone how I feel too.

    J: After the school stopped with tsunami appeal stuff, and I was complaining about how nothing was happening, Mrs Kjar said, "So? You do it then." And so I did.

    These people that leave us with such strong convictions and passions are so valuable to us and our lives. I wish she knew that.

    For your teacher, and mine, and everybody's elses, I'll just be thankful.

  4. I love those sorts of teachers.
    I'm sorry she died...

  5. That letter was from the heart Ben. We all miss her, ay. I guess all we can do is take what she taught us about life and give back more than we take. Stuff life Afraid and your mentoring groups. She's proud of you for sure.


  6. Em & Raz: I don't have much to say, except thank you for you kind words. They go a long way.

    Raz, I'm proud to just know somebody as great as you. You've done a lot for me, just like Mrs Kjar did. At least I got to tell you that.