Back to the future

Nearly half a lifetime ago (15 years is now less than half a lifetime?!), my AP English teacher introduced me to the idea of Wesleyan University (my eventual alma mater), and when I was applying to colleges she wrote one of my letters of reference. The choicest paragraph reads:

When Jake appeared in my classroom two years ago as a sophomore, his lively responses in class discussions became one of the high points of my day. He was always thoughtful and perceptive, without being solemn. He did not open his mouth needlessly, but when he spoke it was to say something pertinent, accurate, and interesting. Often, his throwaway mumbled asides were the most cogent comments of the entire class.

Let the histories forever record the honest truth that I always mentioned a certain high school teacher’s name when recounting my early intellectual life, and that I remained grateful to her until my last breath for one of her own asides, in which she suggested Wes-Tek to such an arrogant, pink-haired egomaniac as I was at 17. And that I stopped mumbling by the time I, too, following her footsteps, became a teacher. I now bellow every pertinence, Mrs. C.

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