When I was a student at Rosati-Kain there was a teacher there named Sr. Denis. As a 14-year old, she scared the living crap out of me. She taught English and even though she was shorter than me, she was a force with which to be reckoned. She always told us to “BE SPECIFIC” and God forbid you ever received that dreaded “check-minus” on your paper. Freshman year was a daunting year.
I learned this morning that Sr. Denis has passed away. I was just at Rosati on Monday and when I asked about her, I could tell something was amiss. I got one of those sideways glances between teachers and a “Oh, yes…she’s fine.” Sr. Denis passed away this morning after a brief illness. She will be missed greatly.
I thought I would share a very vivid memory I have of Sr. Denis here.
When I was a freshman in 2002-2003 I was certain that Sr. Denis did not like me. My parents did not believe me when I would tell them this.
At parent-teacher conferences, my mother told Sr. Denis what I thought and Sr. Denis replied, “Well, she hasn’t given me a reason to like her.” It was true, I was constantly behind on my 2400 steps and still dotted my “i” with circles.
After having made it through freshman English by the skin of my teeth, I had Sr. Denis again my senior year. I was a much better student at this point and stopped with the “circle dots” on my i’s. I asked Sr. Denis to write my recommendation letter to college because she was one of the teachers who had really seen how far I had come since freshman year.
She wrote a glowing letter about my ability as a student. Her letter was instrumental in my acceptance into my first choice college. In the end, I guess I gave her a reason to like me after all.
I will never forget her. She was an amazing woman and an even more amazing English teacher. She helped turned many 14-year-old girls into an 18-year-old young women with the ability to write and speak in complete and coherent sentences. That was no easy feat in this day and age. She will be missed.
Sr. Denis gave 36 years of service to Rosati in the English department.
Thank you so much, Sr. Denis, for everything.