The teacher who changed my life
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"When I stepped off a ship in New York Harbor on a gray March day in 1949, I was an undersized 9-year-old in short pants who had lost his mother and was coming to live with the father he didn’t know."
"When my father led me and my 11-year-old sister to Greendale Elementary School,the grim-faced Yankee principal put the two of us in a class for the mentally retarded."
"A formidable, solidly built woman with salt-and-pepper hair, a steely eye, and a flat Boston accent, Miss Hurd had no patience with layabouts."
"Then, on a warm spring afternoon, I sat in my room with a yellow pad and pencil and stared out the window at the buds on the trees. I wrote that the coming of spring always reminded me of the last time I said goodbye to my mother on a green and gold day in 1948."
"Without telling me, Miss Hurd also submitted the essay to a contest sponsored by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pa., and it won a medal."
"She couldn’t be there when I graduated from Boston University, but the person who came with my father and shared our joy was my former teacher, Marjorie Hurd."
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