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Dear Jen:

Dear Jen:

You inspired people who had given up. My brother and I both had the same experience. Each of us for our own reasons was disillusioned with the school, and could not wait to move on. You took a dry subject, which was usually taught in a manner carefully designed to suck the life out of it, and made it fun again. You encouraged creativity and imagination, and found ways to keep attention. You gave extra points on vocabulary tests for anything that could make you laugh - I remember that the test with the Roadrunner/Coyote theme, I scored 16 of 10, including a point for the sketch on the bottom of the paper. You actually assigned us creative writing projects. And I know Alex turned in at least one video to you.

When you came to Tewksbury, you were fresh out of college and just turning 23. Your AP students, my class, were only six years younger than you, and I know that if you and I had stood next to each other in a hall, most strangers would have guessed me as the teacher and you as the student. I can't imagine how you managed to stand up in front of us and project authority and adult-hood, but somehow you did. I'm not surprised that at the end of the year, you told us all to call you Jen instead of Miss Brooks. I suspect you might have been more comfortable that way sooner, but it wouldn't have been good for discipline.

I hope that Tewksbury didn't suck the creativity and drive out of you, although I know it threatened to. Alex told me that you got married, and found a job somewhere that could better appreciate your gifts. I hope that you are inspiring people there as you inspired me.