Getting My First Job After University
A Story of Friendship
A young lady is sitting at a desk. Her blue eyes are wide open, mouth shut. She is doing her best to pull herself together, yet it is evident with the naked eye – she is fighting fear. The room is nothing but a meadow, with countless sheep running around – the seven-graders.
The lady has dedicated past five years of life to university, where she ground away to become a professional. But is that enough to succeed? Her name is Natalie Andrews, and she is a middle school English teacher struggling on her first work day. Natalie has yet a lesson to discover, the one which is rarely disclosed in workbooks, and that is – the true role of humanness.
Another attempt to pacify the hysteric crowd..and another failure. Natalie makes a promise to herself – she will never come to school again. At least as a teacher. After screams bring her back to reality, the woman slowly rises from her chair, aiming to look aloof. She assumes that it is only a strict teacher who can gain respect from a student. In this case, respect equals silence, so Natalie opens her mouth to calm down the class when a gentle voice interrupts her actions: “So you’re our new teacher?”, asks a thin blonde girl in the corner of the room.
Not he who is stern and superior can be called a teacher, but he who had become a mentor, a companion and, above all – a human
– “Yes”, uncertainly replies Natalie and then adds: “It is Miss Andrews”.
– “You’re doing good. First day’s always a disaster”, remarks the girl as the corners of her mouth stretch out in a smile.
– “Well…thank you. Do they always act so…ahem?…” – still nobody pays attention to Natalie.
– “Stupid?”, continues the girl, “Yeah, you’ll see”, she mysteriously winks at the teacher, exposing dark circles, “By the way, I’m Anabelle, but you can call me Ana if you want”, she says.
Ana’s wit attracts Natalie, meanwhile suggesting to stay alert. Although the girl looks like the most innocent child on Earth, she senses something strange about the student. “Whatever it is that gifted Ana with sagacity may as well ruin my authority in the class, so it is better to keep the distance”, the thought crosses Natalie’s mind.
– “Um…okay, nice to meet you Ana”, the teacher answers politely, “Is there any chance you know how to restrain them?” – she murmurs, pointing at the wild crowd.
– “You know what to do, Ms. Andrews”, Ana smiles as if she knows more than others.
Natalie loses a sense of presence for a moment. Anabelle treated her like a family member but fell silent at the moment of need. Natalie keeps haunting the logic in the girl’s actions when it finally hits her: the only way to have teenagers listen to you is to become one.
– “ ‘K, class. See you guys are quite playful? What if we play a game? How does that sound?”
– “That’s lame!” – shouts someone from the crowd.
– “Well, you gotta stay in the classroom, either playing games or doing tasks”, Natalie raises her eyebrow, smirking.
The class looks rather distrustful of the teacher. Surprisingly, in some thirty seconds everybody regains control of themselves.
– “So…what are the rules anyway?”, inquires a boy in the cap.
– “I’m gonna handle in a sheet of paper to each of you. Now I want you to put down your life motto which you’ll have to explain later on. Simple as that. Ready?” This is the way for Natalie to get acquainted with the class. Everyone nodded so she begins the countdown. Five minutes later, children begin to introduce their projects one by one.
By the end of the period, everyone in the class except Ana has successfully presented themselves, so Natalie delays this assignment till the upcoming lesson. After saying goodbye to the students, she heads home, feeling relief. Although her first day of work started as a disaster, it ended as a triumph. Natalie is hungry for her next day as a teacher but the following morning is not quite what she expected…
The news does not take long to be heard. As Natalie enters the school lobby, she hears: Ana had passed away. Impossible. Natalie could not have known. Then why does the guilt bother her so much? The principal stated it was leukemia which eventually defeated Ana’s tender body. Her body, but not her mind.
– “There is something she wanted you to have”, informs the principal, walking Natalie to the office, “Her mother brought it this morning, it seems Anabelle wrote farewell letters to her closest ones” – the woman passes the envelope to Natalie. Her hands are shaking as she pulls out the enclosure. The curvy pen lines say:
Dear Ms. Andrews,
My motto is: “Nothing happens by accident”. I trust we were meant to meet at some point.
Thank you for showing me that being an educator is nothing but a vocation. I was lucky to have such a reserved teacher. Hope you don’t give me an F for that expression.
You may wonder why I left your troubles to yourself when you asked for help. The answer is simple – you could overcome them on your own. And you proved it ten seconds later, didn’t you?
Please don’t feel guilty or sorry for me because you’ve done your best. Hope you didn’t have much trouble with a student like me. I wish you all the best.
Forever in your memory,
Nothing happens by accident
- Speaking of mottos…dare I ask what’s yours?
“Forever in your memory” – Natalie whispers to herself, teardrops landing on the floor. Ana gave her a lesson no professor could ever offer, it is a pity Natalie will never have a chance to thank her young teacher. Today, Natalie Andrews will return home, squeezing Ana’s letter in her fist. Her life will never be the same again now that she knows: not he who is stern and superior can be called a teacher, but he who had become a mentor, a companion and, above all – a human. From now on, this motto will guide Natalie throughout life.