Mentoring Matters: An Ode to AP English

About the Writer: Anee Nguyen is a sophomore in the St Andrews and William & Mary Joint Degree Program. Currently in Scotland, Anee studies English with a minor in history. In her free time, Anee likes to use the metro system, write bad poetry, and watch what Audrey Hepburn movies are still left on Netflix.’

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve wanted to go into education since I was 12. Between the amount of times I’ve mentioned teaching or English it’s not too hard to see how dead set I have been on doing this one profession for the rest of my forever. And it started with a person.

Not me, funnily enough, but with a teacher, which isn’t surprising. I have had teachers and professors my whole life, and my inspiration to become one stems from each and every one of their passions and dedications, but there was a particular woman who taught me so much about education and English and about being a good productive human of this earth.

Ms. Blankenship showed me that unconventional thinking is the best kind. She reminded all her students, and drove home in me that everyone thinks differently, and that is the most valuable thing you can learn from one another. She made me feel empowered and I worked hard to make her proud because she is one of the most brilliant minds I think I’ll ever know. She taught me that everyone is human, and humanity is what moves us to make changes in the world, to find love and to create happiness. Blankenship gave me so much self-confidence by telling me the truth, the hard and real way. She shared so much with me that I can only hope to share in one of my students when I become a teacher.

As a mentor, Ms. Blankenship was the mother bird to my attempts to fly. She consistently pushed me out of the tree until she knew she could trust me to jump off myself, to take risks and chances knowing that she would be there to catch me when I inevitably bumped into a few branches on the way down. I ran to her to tell her about my college acceptance, and then again to ask for her advice on joining the St Andrews program. I ran to her when I came home from college and made her argue with me on all my new ideas on papers I had written. I ran to her when my brother fell off his bike and had a huge gash on his face. I ran to her because I knew she would push me to find my own answers, and not give them to me. Her way of teaching me to be my own person was something I only wish I could emulate later on. I think the greatest compliment she ever gave me was that she and I think in the same way, using charts and visuals to create ideas. Ms. Blankenship helped to uncover who I am now and gave me a good visual for the woman I want to be in the future. Thank you, Ms. Blankenship. You rock.

This blog serves as a part of the Office of Student Leadership Development’s celebration of National Mentoring Month in our “Mentoring Matters” campaign.