Celebrate Those Who Have Taught Us

      We've all had those teachers that change the game for us; who go above and beyond and teach us not only lessons written in text books and on chalkboards, but also life lessons that stay with us as we grow and, later on, we know will come full circle.

     One such example of such a teacher for me was the first writing teacher I ever had in college, Liz.

     Throw away any thoughts of white boards and projectors, students sitting neatly in a row (though when we were in our classes, we had circles), and replace them with cobblestone streets echoing those gentle bells of passing trolleys, a skyline of orange and brown roofs, parks that still echo with the ghosts and graves of communism, and a castle at the end of view, watching over its majestic and gothic city: because, after changing my major and signing up for classes for a summer almost spontaneously, I found myself in Liz's Fiction Writing class in one the most beautiful cities in the world nestled in the center of the western Czech Republic: Prague.

     I had never had a teacher I could throw so many ideas to quite like Liz. She was the first person that lent her ear to my first-born writing ideas, my thoughts on my young adult life thus far: moments of light and periods of broken hearts alike. And through her class, her method, and her belief in us as young writers trying to find a home, a community was formed, and it was a feeling of community that I had never felt before in my life and as time moves on, it still is a memory of happiness.

     She also taught me one of the most important lessons in my life: If you are going to write, you have to live. For me personally, it was the first lesson about living in the moment. Not only did she teach us how to form a plot and edit our scenes on paper, but also showed us how to live in the beautiful city my other amazing professors, my colleagues turned brothers and sisters, and I found ourselves in. We were shown how important our personal stories and journeys were for our writing.

     And so we lived, as one should no matter where they are. We walked through small ghostly streets, drank in underground brick basements turned jazz clubs, said prayers at Kafka's grave and navigating his weirdly spectacular museum, and sipping coffee in gothic town squares where history sang in the walls of the buildings surrounding us. And I'll never forget the time Liz and I decided to randomly walk around a quietly haunting neighborhood in the hills, getting lost in both the modest houses and humble streetlights, stumbling on empty cobblestone squares that felt royal every now and then, talking about literature and writing and life: life was alive, and my eyes were opening.

     There are hundreds of examples like this, I'm sure, where we find that one special teacher who shakes us and wakes up a little more than before, helping us grow. In this weird world we are living in, our teachers can become beacons in our lives, and they deserve to be celebrated.

     Here at Mara's, we are celebrating our amazing local teachers and professors for Teacher's Appreciation Week with some cool stuff: teachers will get 10% off all purchases (with a school I.D.) all week long, both in store and online (online using the code Teacher10) and all school deliveries will also be rewarded with 10% off (online using the code "TeacherDelivery", so enjoy a good meal with friends or on the job with a hearty Mara's meal dedicated to you, the teachers and scholars!

     And thank you for all you do!

-Dave