At the Water Cooler: Big Impressions at a Small Age
We have all had those pivotal people in our lives–those people who make an impression that never fades. We want to know who those people or events in your life are, so we began by asking our friends at Spike:
As a young girl, who in your life most shaped your success? Was it a parent, teacher, friend, or sister? Was it an organization or event? What impression did they leave?
Mrs. Hoon, my second grade teacher, was the first person to ever tell me I was smart. That is, besides my mom and dad, but even at the age of eight I was pretty sure they had to think that. It was Mrs. Hoon who gave me stacks of books to read at night after I’d finished the year’s reading list, and she who convinced me that the nickname “Smarty-pants” (given to me by the boys in my class) wasn’t a bad thing. She instilled in me not only a love of reading, but also confidence in my thoughts and what I had to say and contribute—something that’s stuck with me ever since, and that I’d like to ensure is given to other girls, as well. –Arianne Price
Growing up in Maine, my childhood and life-lessons were greatly shaped by my neighborhood friend (and older sister-like role model), Nina. I saw her friendly interactions with the elderly neighbors and kids on the school bus, and she was always offering a helping hand to her parents and mine. When she started middle school, she would share her experiences and ease my fears about academics and fitting in socially. Her actions played a major role in how I interacted with individuals, navigated tough situations, and perceived friendships. During those impressionable times as a young girl, I was fortunate to have Nina guide me down the right path. —Katie Shorey
My grandma, Lee Fuller, is my life’s inspiration, not because she was some wildly successful woman who changed the world, but because she changed mine. She was the daughter of immigrants and grew up in terrible circumstances, I learned humility. She was the military wife of an alcoholic soldier and mother of 4, I learned quiet strength, courage, and patriotism. She made a lot of mistakes with her own children and spent the rest of her life loving me, her grandchildren, and anybody else who needed it, I learned acceptance. Last, she died unexpectedly in a car accident, it changed my life at 13, I learned life is too short and precious to not make a difference while we are here and that my world could be better than hers. –Tara Leigh Emnett
My eleventh grade English teacher came from Switzerland, wore outrageous floral stockings, and proudly displayed a cardboard cut-out of Gandalf the Grey in our classroom. She made us stumble through the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales in Middle English and worked up a sweat trying to make us appreciate Shakespeare. And I got it. She was the first person who showed me that literature really could be cool, that behind J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling was an enormous and wonderful literary history. She realized that I loved words and tapped into that, encouraging me until I could realize it, too. —Holly
I have had plenty of wonderful influences but if I had to pinpoint one thing that truly influenced my life, it would have to be moving around a lot. We always dreaded the day that dad came home with a mini moving truck in his hand (he liked to joke) but I believe moving has truly shaped my life into what it is today. Moving taught me to be open to different cultures, adapt quickly, value people and family, and to be very outgoing. All of these traits I have been able to take into the business world and I know I will continue to use them for the rest of my life. Sometimes the thing you think is the worst thing ever ends up being the most life changing adventure! —Alicia
Who or what most shaped your life? Tell us the impression they made in the comments section below.
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