This is a story about the person who taught me that with “great beginnings come great endings.”
Back in September of 2020, we were going to math class, just as expected. A normal day, nothing new. Then we were introduced to a new “teacher,” per se. His name was Siva.
He was there to help out our math teacher to manage the Zoom breakout rooms. After we were all sent out to different breakout rooms, Siva joined mine. I didn’t really mind it since it’s a teacher, but I really didn’t feel like talking. But then I got to hear how cool he was, introducing himself to everyone, checking on everyone, and talking about the work. He seemed like a chill and relaxed person, but I still didn’t know how to feel about the guy. It was a weird but great first impression of what a younger teacher would be like. Before I even knew it, it was the beginning of a great relationship.
Afterward, Siva was a big help for everyone in the 10th grade. He was there for people who needed and sought his help. He became pretty well known in the grade and with the other grades he worked with. Siva was a big anime fan, something that led him to realize that a lot of students also liked anime. After this, an anime club was created, which I would enter sometime after it was made.
Before the meeting of the week, I went ahead and shot a message to Siva to see if he could stay after the meeting to talk about something going on in the house and just ask him for advice. The meeting starts and it’s running smoothly. Everyone is enjoying the meeting and watching the anime that we chose a week before. All I can think of is “how am I going to say this,” but I’m still watching the anime. At the end of the two episodes of this week, everyone explains their thoughts and laughs with each other.
After all the goodbyes and jokes, Siva and I are the only ones left. We both start talking about anime and laughing, then we get to the thing I wanted to mention to him. “Emm Siva, how do you deal with people, like, how do you manage to get along with people so well?” He gave me great advice when it comes to this topic since he was a natural at being likable. This taught me that although I hadn’t met with him in person, he was a great person to have around. This was “the middle point” of our friendship and respect for each other.
As our relationship became more of a “friendship” rather than a teacher-student relation, we grew closer. We met with each other several times throughout the week regularly. I came to him with problems I had in and out of school, homework, and with anime suggestions. We bonded over a lot of stuff. He taught a lot about spiritualism and his Indian roots, and I just told him a bunch of stories of the Dominican Republic. When school started again, we finally got to meet each other for the first time. He was a lot shorter than I expected, but he was one of the coolest people to be around.
Nearing the end of the school year, we had a brief time in school where we didn’t do much. Everyone’s grades were put in and no one was there for anything but to get a P (for present). During this time, I was mainly around with my best friend and with Mr. Siva.
Then the last day hits. It’s the end of the day, and I didn’t really do anything that day so Mr. Siva and I decided to meet up after school to chat for a bit. Walking outside of school together, we mentioned how our day was, anime stuff, and some writing I was planning to do. Now we’re outside, I just say “Damn, we really are done with school, huh. I’m going to 11th grade and I still feel like a ninth grader.” Siva just laughs while telling me, “You know man, that’s how it goes. You didn’t get to finish your first year. It’s understandable.” I agree with him and just look at the parking spot right in front of us. I say, “You really about to leave the school, huh?” He said something unexpected and rare. “We can still be friends outside of school. We’re going our separate ways, but we don’t have to never talk again.” I was surprised to hear this. Teachers usually leave to go off and never be seen again.
We kept on talking about anime and the things we would do in the future. I was writing a story so I decided to write a character based on him named Dr. Devara (This name refers to his last name, Narasimhadevara.) He loved the idea and was down to help me in any sort of way he could to make this story. We chatted about our future and said our last goodbyes like usual. “Be safe, my guy.” We walked two different ways. Although certainly not the end, this was the time and place where our paths took different turns.
We both knew this moment was coming and we both took it to chill and relax because “with great beginnings come great endings.” In this situation, I understood that it’s not about where you meet people, it’s about their vibe and how well y’all get along.
P.S. This message is for you, “Dr. Devara.” You’ve been one of the best, most genuine people I’ve met in my life. You always gave me great advice and led me to do better than I already was. You were a big part of why I passed 10th grade and why I feel prepared for 11th grade. We may have different backgrounds and we may not be the most “alike” people, but I’ll forever respect you and have you as a great friend, teacher, and advisor. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me in such a short amount of time and I wish you the best of luck in your future. I hope to see you become a great doctor and I know you will.