Interestingly, the person who had the most impact on my life was my grandmother. My grandmother was a retired College Principal, but for me she was always my Grandmother. She taught me the kinds of things that school teachers never could teach in the classroom. Because my parents were at work and my grandmother was retired, I spent a lot of time with her. She was a mother, a grandparent and a teacher at the same time. She always prepared an interesting activity for the day.
We visited museums, theatres, went to the zoo, visited the library, watched movies or just stayed at home and did something fun together.
She always created the proper schedule with the weather and my age in mind. I loved the way she could find the tone and the language with me, keeping in mind my capacity. She had a good sense of humor and always tried to cheer me up when she saw lack of interest or tiredness.
The biggest lesson I learned from her was how to be a happy and independent child. She let my free spirit wander, making me curious and adventurous. She never lectured me or gave me boring speeches; she always found ways to engage my interest through stories and examples from her life. It were very important for her.
She wanted my imagination to grow and explore different ideas and topics in my head. When I could not read by myself, she was the one who introduced me to picture books, and when I went to first grade she sat down with me and held my hand during my discovery of reading independently. My Grandmother was the first person who put a pencil in my hand. First we drew and colored together, and then slowly I learned how to form my letters and to write my name down before I started my school education. As I mentioned before, my parents had to work, so my Grandmother picked me up from school everyday.
When we arrived home we always had snack and then a little free time before we sat down to do my homework. If I had a difficult assignment, for example from chemistry or physics, we tried to associate with baking as a science, or made an experiment to see how it could work in real life. She never disciplined me. How it worked between us was very natural; she was older and wiser, I was little and hungry for knowledge. I admired her knowledge, life experience and her enthusiasm; I asked question after question, begged for stories of her life and never let her sit down for a moment.
She tried to keep up with me and never complained of being tired and I was never bored. I was the engine of her life and she was the educator in mine. When I was older and went to stay at overnight camps during the summer, she wrote me letters every single day. I learned how important it was to keep contact, communicate and express my feelings and ideas in writing. My grandmother made a huge impact on my life: I learned how much I should appreciate life everyday. I learned how I can make changes if I have an open and curious heart.