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Daniel Quaye has for a few years been my ideal teacher and friend. Despite his past harsh circumstances, he is always upbeat and inspiring to others. For these reasons, I love and admire him a lot; indeed he is my role model. He encourages me to have a bright outlook on life and to find solutions to problems that seem impossible to solve. He is a dignified, simple and honest person who has taught me many useful life lessons.
In grade eight, I recall I was very nervous in school and awkward at home.
Losing my composure frustrated my parents especially and this usually happened when I did not perform well in Math. I used to throw tantrums anytime I did not get my own way and it was extremely difficult for me to calm down. Today, I am a changed person for I have learnt to control my temper. Daniel Quaye, my private Math teacher, understood my problems clearly and became my confidante.
His unaffected nature endeared him to me, for he was more a friend than a teacher. Anytime I went to him with an issue, he did not preach to me but rather discussed the matter dispassionately. In my Math classes, I persistently failed to do my homework and I interrupted my classes with many pranks. It was after patient talks and careful analysis with Daniel that he came to the root of my problem; I was bad-tempered. He said that losing my temper did not help when I felt misunderstood for it only made matters worse.
With his advice, I now reason out problems patiently and rationally rather than fly into a rage; I realise I am a happier person.
Daniel taught me not to blame others for my faults but find better ways to improve myself. This has given me an independent outlook on life which I deeply appreciate. Even though I have become more of an independent thinker, Daniel also taught me that there are some situations in which the team effort is more important than a single person’s effort. I have learnt how to balance my individuality as well as working in a team so as to not over rely on my teammates in any particular situation. The constant reminder of the African Proverb which says “A broom sweeps better than many individual broomsticks” motivated me to work harder in solidarity with other people; in study groups. Having joined many study groups over the years, I have learnt to become more team-oriented because we expanded our knowledge by exchanging ideas and pulling our resources together so each member of the group could see different aspects of a problem. In these last few years, I have realised my own folly because I now ask myself “Why should I feel jealous of my friends if they get better results than I do? It is not going to affect my own results and I too can get good grades if I try. Due to his wise counsel, this balancing act has made me a competitive student as I now take full responsibility for my actions.
Thankfully, I have picked up many lessons from Daniel that have shaped me into the person I have become today. As I prepare for college and my future, I hope to share these lessons I have learnt as my way of appreciating him and the changes he has brought into my life. Daniel Quaye is my favourite teacher as well as a good friend and I think no other teacher I have met before measures up to him.
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