Two, Four, Six, Eight Who Do We Appreciate? Teachers!

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Published on May 6, 2020

Mr. Mortali, you left a big significant impact on me that I will never forget and will continue to carry on with me for the rest of my life. You were always positive, told me to continue being a hard-working person, and even taught me more of the Italian language and culture that I never even knew about in the first place. 

Sophomore year and senior year of high school, first period from 7:35 a.m. to 8:10 a.m., I took the short walk from homeroom to my class in Room 222. Whenever I walked through the door, you always said “Buongiorno Castorina, come stai oggi?” To me, I consider this to be positive because we speak the same language, and the student-to-teacher friendship we had was fantastic. From that day on, I knew that you were always going to be my favorite teacher not only because you made me laugh, but I always walked out of your class in a positive mood, which was really important to me. The jokes you made, the conversations that me, you and Mrs. Snell had a few times in the hallway is something that always puts a smile on my face.

Yearbook photo provided and photo art by the author

For the first year, I remember you, me and my mother were discussing with one another at conferences about how I was doing in class. Unfortunately, my grade was not excellent, and you said to me, “If your grade is going to continue being this way, then you are going to have to be pulled out of this class.” While my mom turned over and saw the look on my face, she knew I did not want that to happen at all. I wanted to learn more about my culture, and break the language barrier by learning more than, “ciao,” “come stai oggi?” “bene grazie,” and “ti,”; no, I did not want to just learn the basics! I wanted to learn how to speak in full sentences and carry that on with me for the time being. 

After that conference, I knew what had to be accomplished, and that was the main priority I had to draw more of my attention towards. The assignments you gaveo us from the book were a bit tough to understand at first, but when I looked them over multiple times, I started to understand more and began putting more effort in. As a few months flew by, you noticed a big change in my grades and at the next conference, you were speechless because of how hard I worked in a matter of three months, which really surprised you. You not only saw me as just an overachiever, but someone who was pushed to work ten times harder than before, which made me a successful student my first year of Italian class. 

Senior year, you knew I was the same student who always did their best no matter what. Showing up to class on time, putting in one-hundred percent effort as usual and handing in the work, which showed the amount of respect I had towards you. The fact that it was my last year of high school meant it was the year where I decided to keep pushing myself to do excellent in the class. You were amazed at how much of an overachiever I was, and how I participated in class, which made you extremely proud.

Last but not least, developing more of the language and looking more into the Italian culture such as the music, holidays, events, history, and even the cuisine was very beneficial for me! If I were to travel to Italy, more specifically, Sicily, where my cousins live, I would be sharing everything with them that I have learned from your class and that would make them very proud because I love my culture, and just everything about it makes it exciting! 

I remember when the Italian club went to The Culinary Institute of America for a nice dinner, and studied the certain types of foods. Let’s not forget when we went to Durante’s Pasta and learned how they made all kinds of pasta such as penne, rigatoni, linguine, gnocchi and so much more.You were an amazing teacher and have taught me so much. The best thing I can do right now is say thank you and Happy Teacher Appreciation week! Arrivederci!