Teacher appreciation series: History by flowers

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Patricia Skinner
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From my first day of school I hated history. It was just so boring; I felt like the teachers were just teaching the same exact thing every single year. But now I am majoring in history! How does this make sense? I owe it all to one college history professor.

When I enrolled McClennan Community College I was annoyed to find out that I would have to take two U.S. history classes in order to earn my associate’s degree. I registered and resigned myself to relearning the same thing yet again. The first day of class in walks Melody Flowers, the first teacher I’d ever seen with a nose piercing. She set her coffee down and started teaching; to my surprise it was NOT the same information.

One of my favorite parts of Ms. Flower’s class was when she had the whole class research a topic and choose a side from a list of options. She would then group us together based on which side we had picked. That is when it would get fun; she had us debate our side using our research to back it up. Her one rule was that whatever side we argued, we had to be respectful to each other.

Ms. Flowers also restarted the History Student Association, the history club on our campus. Sometimes we would read historical books and sometimes we would watch historical movies. However, my favorite thing that we did was host a member of the Branch Davidians. Listening to the woman, who had lost almost her entire family in the raid of the Davidian Compound, talk about her experiences was heartbreaking. It made me realize that we are living future history right now; something that I never would have thought about or paid much attention to if I had taken a different teacher for history.

This realization led me to spend hours talking to Ms. Flowers about everything from history and politics to which buildings on campus would be haunted if ghosts are real. If I ever had a question about what I should do next in my college career, I could go to Ms. Flowers because she would do everything in her power to help me find an answer. If I needed a simple letter of recommendation she would be willing to make my achievements shine above all others.

Our bond as teacher and student became something more; a bond of friendship.

Every student should find a way to make deeper connections with at least one of their teachers. Although I am now at a university pursuing my bachelor’s degree, Ms. Flowers remains my own personal cheerleader, advisor, and mentor all rolled into one. There is no better feeling in the world than to know that there is a teacher who thinks so highly of me.

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