The Apache Pow Wow

Thank You, Mrs. DeSurra!

Jasmine Oang, Staff Writer

“Mrs. DeSurra at first glance seemed to just be a humble and kind bookworm whose class would be like any other English class here at AHS. However, don’t let appearances fool you, Mrs. DeSurra is definitely one of the best English teachers I’ve had. Her stuffed bookshelves and poster-plastered walls only show a slight portion of who she is…

Undeniably, she really is as caring and helpful as she looks, but she also has a relatable sense of humor. I remember on the first day, we went over the syllabus and we covered the no gum policy, she said two things before we could argue, “go research Misophonia,” a strong dislike of specific sounds and, “rub your hand under your desk and tell me how you feel about gum now.” As someone who has gotten gum stuck on their jeans because some inconsiderate human being decided the trash can (that is literally three feet away) is way too far, THANK THE GODS.

Admirably, she’s empathetic towards her students and forms a unique bond in which we’d never intentionally break. Yet, when we shamefully forget to turn in our assignments at 7:30 a.m. and have those “OH SHOOT,” moments as we walk into class, she still counts it if we turn it in before the bell (any later and it’s understandable because HOW COULD YOU NOT NOTICE EVERYONE FRANTICALLY STAPLING?!). Even during discussions, she never disagrees because she emphasizes how each interpretation is our own and as long as we can back it up, it isn’t wrong. If we’re lacking in reasoning, she somehow magically comprehends our short vague sentences and puts our thoughts into words perfectly. In our class, we mention materialistic and superficial values a lot and she understands that we all have an inner Holden Caulfield or Jack Merridew where we deny we are secretly uplifted by peer approval because let’s be real, we’re barely surviving.

Being in her class not only challenges me but also forces me to strive to be better. With high grading standards, it encourages students to try harder but, sometimes teachers with high standards can be aggravating. Yet, Mrs. DeSurra sympathizes our ambitiously jam-packed try-hard schedules and always gives us chances for redemption or at least an opportunity to not totally screw ourselves. We’ve all had those moments where we’re looking over at our essay before handing in our death-certificate and we notice we didn’t add the Works Cited page or forgot to change our header to Times New Roman, and are trying desperately to add those pesky little tick marks to each individual letter while hoping no one notices. Well, Mrs. DeSurra pretends not to notice how we undoubtedly only glanced at the rubric once and ever so kindly, still gives us points.

With so many small comical moments, Mrs. DeSurra brings out the best in her students. At times we can be boisterous and hectic little children, digressing about a recent math test or AP Biology lab, but we can also (try to) be analytical and hard-working students. We only try because we know she understands our struggles and she tries to make things easier on us through her compassion and magical comprehension skills. Thank you Mrs. DeSurra.” —Jasmine Oang, 10, Pow Wow, Staff Writer

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Thank You, Mrs. DeSurra!