I REMEMBER our first meeting and I remember the distinct, complicated, braids on your hair that made me wonder how it was possible for hair to be formed like that. You wore a pair of wedges and if I’m not mistaken, you matched it with a pretty cardigan with shades of red.

You always looked elegant and when you showed us our weekly schedule for the whole semester I knew that you were going to make my life miserable.

And I was right.

Journalism was the class that made me get out of my house and talk to people. People that I didn’t know and didn’t want to know at all but because I wanted to pass the subject I was forced to engage myself with society and learn about the lives of different people around me.

It was the class that drove me crazy and anxious and always on the verge of exhaustion because there was always something to do and something to share and all I wanted to do was sleep.

You were a pain, but I wouldn’t regret any write shop I had with you as my teacher.

You taught me how to write without hesitation. You taught me what true discipline was all about. You taught me commitment and you taught me how to be brave and just let myself write.

I never liked showing people what I wrote because I always thought that writing was something too personal because words have a way of telling people what’s in my head and what’s in my heart.

And I was afraid of people knowing how I felt or what I thought of. I don’t know, I guess I’m just the type of person who doesn’t easily trust people.

But thank you for making me trust my words and knowing how to balance feelings and facts.

It has never been easy for me to write so freely but you were patient enough to teach me to write without unwanted hesitation and it feels wonderful.

There were nights when I would write something and quickly erase it because I wasn’t happy with it and there were nights when I was too upset with my writing because I always thought it was never good enough but what I learned most about Journalism is that I should never be afraid to write.

I’m having trouble with transitions right now but all I want to say is despite making my life hell I’m never going to regret having you as my awesome teacher. You made me learn so much and you made me experience bits and pieces on what it was like to be a journalist/writer.

I was a very different person before third year happened. I did not like people and I hated social events and most of the time I wondered why I took up Mass Communication in the first place. I guess I took it because it was the closest thing to my first love: graphic design.

But as each writing session passed and the semesters flew by I realized that there was a huge part of me that wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a writer way before college but I never thought I was good enough to write and inspire people but Journalism class brought back the desire I had for writing and I can’t thank you enough for making me find something I love and having to do it without hesitation.

I knew I wasn’t the best student and I knew there were nights you had a hard time with me and I’m sorry I didn’t try my best in your class but thank you Ma’am for never giving up on me. You never treated me badly and you’d never get tired of encouraging my classmates and me and I am forever grateful for being your student.

You are one of the most effective educators I have ever had the pleasure of learning from and although I may never look like it, I am forever grateful for having you as my Journalism teacher.

Thank you Ma’am Gem, for everything.

You have taught me things I could never learn inside the classroom alone and things I never knew I would learn to love again.

You know those sayings about hard work and how you’d have to kill yourself before you actually accomplish something? Or how we’d have to bend and break in order to become something better? Well, that’s what Journalism did to me and I’m just grateful because despite the hardships and the lack of sleep, I can honestly say that I’m a better writer (and person!) because of what you taught. (Sofia Aledia)