I received such terrible news yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about it since.
My favorite high school teacher passed away from Covid-19. We called him Sir JJ, and he was my adviser and chemistry teacher back in my 3rd year of high school.
I’m not gonna lie. I wasn’t really close to him. I never had meaningful conversations, just him and I compared to other students who were much closer to him, but hearing about his passing is heartbreaking. I didn’t expect it to affect me this much.
Still, I remember enjoying his classes and being supervised by him. He had a weird personality but in a good way because he made learning chemistry exciting and enjoyable. You can tell that he was genuinely passionate about teaching. Even though chemistry was a challenging subject to learn, he welcomed all questions and was patient enough to answer all of them.
I wasn’t close to him, yet I never felt left out. I was comfortable enough to approach him about anything, which is very special, especially for a closed-off and introverted person like me.
But more than chemistry, he would also teach and remind us of important life lessons. Here are quotes he’d post every week on our class board for us to read:
The quote that stood out the most for me was this,
The only thing permanent in this world is change.
Back then, I only understood a fragment of the truth/reality that this message had, me being so young. But now, as I grow into an adult, I am slowly learning how to accept change as I go about life. And it would’ve been much harder if I hadn’t known about this wisdom that he thankfully passed on to us.
His passing made me realize a lot of things:
How close to death we actually are, primarily because of Covid-19.
How much you can truly impact a person’s life even with such small interactions, so always choose kindness with whomever you meet; and
How no matter how short and long your life has been, if it’s time, then it’s time. So make sure to make the most of what you have now.
Sir JJ was so young and was such a kind soul. You can tell that he really cared about his students. He was a one-of-a-kind teacher that I was lucky enough to have been a part of my life, even if it was only a short while. He will always be a part of my precious memories as I look back on my time in high school.
Thank you so much, Sir JJ. I hope you know that you are deeply loved by your students. May you rest in peace.