Recently, I had the bittersweet experience in learning that my favorite teacher in high school was retiring. While I am very happy that Mrs. McIntosh is finally getting the opportunity to “stop and smell the roses,” I am sad to know students in the future will not have the chance to get the Mac experience. Much to the dismay of my other teachers that might come across this blog, I must admit that I feel I never truly studied for a class before taking Anatomy my Senior year of High School. I made it through Honors Biology, Honors Chemistry, Marine Biology, and floated through trying to get by. Sure I would do my homework assignments most of the time, and try to retain what I would pick up in class, but all that seemed mostly just to pass the tests (which in retrospect, I am quite surprised I ever made it through Honors classes with a decent GPA!). After hearing all the rumors about the rigorous curriculum given by “the Mac” as she was so frequently known as, I was definitely intimidated to be taking an advanced course where I might have to actually apply myself in my Senior year. Nonetheless, after the first few weeks, I felt myself thriving in the material she taught, trying to soak up every lesson, every chapter, I was absolutely fascinated my the human body. I always have had an interest in the body, and ever since I can remember I always thought I wanted to be a doctor or some sort, reading children’s anatomy book and what have you. But this was a whole new experience of profound interest in what I was learning, I found I actually ENJOYED studying! Whoever heard of such a thing?! When we were required to start watching House (when the show first got started and it was really good), I found an even greater devotion to this science as I learned not only how the body looked, but how it worked, how it was affected by everything. I was blown away and loved it all. When we were starting to study for the upcoming lab practical, I found myself frustrated how Mrs Mac would make us draw detailed sketches of every organ and body system; every single line and prominence of every bone, vessels, muscles etc. Never did I realize how much I would learn from her method of making us draw out these detailed body parts, but when I took Anatomy and Physiology later in University, I used this same method, and came out setting the grade curve on every test, and a final grade of 99% in the class. I knew Mrs Mac’s class was special to me when at the end of the year, as an otherwise unmotivated student with Senioritis, I was skipping classes not to go out the beach with my friends, but rather to go to Ms Mac’s class and continue dissecting my fetal pig, bare hands and all. I couldn’t get enough. And while I always figured I would probably try to go to college to do something in the medical field, I feel Ms Mac really pushed and motivated me to get into the nursing profession. I was always so excited to come back years later to fill her in on how nursing school was going, and I hope understands how significant a role she made in my career choice. And now, as a Certified Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioner, I can tell her that taking her class was one of the best choices I made in high school, and I don’t think I would have made it to where I am today without having the foundation for learning that I finally found in the “Mac Experience.”
Ms Mac, I congratulate you on your retirement, and wish you the best of luck with everything.