Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The best teacher I ever had: Ryan Dehner


Dear all,

I hope this message is not perceived as too proud or smug, but I wanted to write and update you all on a new opportunity, one that I have chosen to pursue, that has presented itself to me recently. Also, not pessimistically, these words have the potential of being my last to you.

I have decided to travel to Kabul, Afghanistan for a year, where I will be teaching English to in-country military Afghan pilots. The goal is to improve their functional communication with our (U.S.) anti-insurgency-training troops in order to help build a more reliable infrastructure and promote peace in a nation which so desperately and deservingly needs it. I have been in Texas for two months completing my pre-deployment training and tomorrow, I depart.

The decision to leave my loved ones for such a time to live in a warzone was not effortless. The biggest reason for my deployment decision: For those of you who know of my father's death three years ago, I wish to make him proud in a way I never have.

Also, over the past few years, I have been reflecting upon my life and what it means, to me, to be successful. For years I have been focused on “self”, and with good and normal reasons: I was fortunate enough to have access to an outstanding education, to a stable income, and to decisions and opportunities that, for the most part, would have lead me to nothing but good whichever one I may have chosen. Of course I took advantage of them! I have climbed the socioeconomic, vocational, and educational ladder and damn-near reached the top. As cliche as it may sound, it is time to turn around a give something back. A passage from self to service is what inspires me to do this.

So whether our paths have crossed by way of mutual friends, through lineage, during spring break, in a classroom, during graduate school, online, at parties, during high school or college, I thank you for our memorable times together. What I remember will sustain me for the year to come.

Just a heads-up for you all.

Much love,

Ryan


That's the letter that my teacher on Summer Class, Ryan Dehner, wrote in his profile. I read it twice. 1st time I didn't pay attention, as always... And 2nd time, I almost break down in tears :(
He was the best teacher I ever had.
Well, I will pray for you, Ryan. You'll be safe and come back to US, to see the people who loves you!
God be with you always x0x0

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