When I was in high-school, I was that girl who was the math and science dweeb. For all practical purposes, it was prior to the concept of computer geeks, due to no one having access to any computers. Of course, PCs were just on the horizon. I did love everything technological, and ended up majoring in computer science. All of my math and science teachers really encouraged me to go into the hard sciences, and I appreciate that more than I can say.

However, there was one other teacher, Coach. He was my English teacher for my junior and senior years. If there were subjects that could be classified as my “worst,” English and Literature would be deeply entrenched into that category.

But, Coach would have NONE of it. He always challenged us to think about things from a different perspective. I thought of this, recently, when watching The Dead Poets Society with my daughter. I have a vivid memory of him at the front of the class room reminding us that “even the president… has Passion.” (Rod Stewart – and mind you, Carter was the president at the time).

Through humor and consistent pressing, he forced me to come to grips with the fact that, in order to really succeed, I needed to be able to write substantially, as well as I would be able to develop software. In fact, during my senior year, he strong-armed me into the assistant editor position on the school literary magazine. I hated every minute of it. (Except for working with the editor who was one of my favorite people in school).

So. Thanks, Coach. Thank you for understanding that I could not stay in my comfort zone with the numbers and the equations and the symbols. By convincing me to spend some extra time in the dark side, you helped form the person I am today, truly as much as the others did.

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