When I first walked into Mrs.Ferkranus' classroom, I was reluctent. I knew only one person there, I was scared, and my anxiety had driven me into a secluded state. At the end of the first class, I walked up to Mrs.Ferkranus, my friend behind me making sure I didn't have a complete anxiety attack, and with an anxious laugh I said, "I have anxiety, I'm only in this h*ll class because Arts Huron requires it.
I definetly regret that now, actually feel a bit embarresed, but she took it in a stride, "What can I do to help?" I didn't expect that. I stumbled, not having a preparred statement with me, "Just; uhhh... let me have my friend work with me while I'm in a group." That wasn't an especially good plan, and she stated her opinion, I walked away with fear for the rest of the semester.
Over the course of the semester, I made friends, one of which I would call one of my best friends now. Little groups of people who'd smile at me and laugh at my jokes. I started to take medication, getting therapy, and just like a script, I memorised how to deal with my anxiety. Deep breaths, booming voice, fake confidence.
Mrs.Ferkranus would laugh when I excused my lack of stage blacks, tsk at me when I tried to make excuses for late work, Critiqued my work, and praised plays that me and my frends had worked hard on.
I finished the semester, sad to see it go. I had changed so much, my personality being unwinded from the anxiety I had let coil around me, a classroom with friends and goofy oeople that I could boss around- being the busybody I am- and all headed by this wonderful woman, teaching this so called, "H*ll class"
I don't think she ever really got made at us, even though we truly did many idiotic things, she always had a smile on her face, or a look that made you instantly feel guilty. I remember seeing her at pride, picking up he/him stickers for me and my friend- the same one from the beginning of class- and smiling at her.
I remember the semester after, walking into the dance office and relaxing when I saw her, asking her with stumbling words where to get one of the washroom keys. How she smiled at me in the hallways, sending me little waves, and "Hi Abe"'s that made me feel pleased with being called the right name.
I don't think I'll be able to look at a fashionable scarf again without thinking about Mrs.Ferkranus. It was always her look, stage blacks with a scarf that tended to be brighter then the rest. I don't say this about many teachers, it's usually one or the other, but Mrs.Ferkranus truly was an amazing teacher, and an amazing person.
And do you know what I realised at the end of the semester? I had never once been in a group without my older friend, or my new best friend. Every single time I had one of them there, supporting me. Mrs.Ferkranus set things up so I would grow, but I would still be safe, still have a hand to hold, or a person to lean on.
I'm not a religious person, but Heaven truly got an angel. Thank you, Mrs.Ferkranus.