1. Roald Dahl – at a young age his writing instilled in me an inexhaustible love for reading and deliciously flawed characters. I cried when I found out he had died.
2. Michelle Denson – my after-school drama teacher. Eccentric is an understatement – she didn’t wear underwear (and I have no idea WHY it was appropriate that we were all aware of this fact) and terrified her students. But she taught me to take ‘um’ out of my vocabulary and to speak with conviction.
3. Julie Andrews – the hills are alive with the Sound of Music. Need I say more?
4. Henry – okay, so Henry is not so much a person, as a Jack Russel Terrier. But this rascal taught me more than most humans I’ve interacted with. He taught me to love being outside, even in the pouring rain and to greet everyone with joy and excitement.
5. Mrs. Ball – my piano teacher. Meany von Meanpants. She once slammed the piano lid on my fingers because I hadn’t practiced my scales. A great example of how NOT to cultivate a love for music in your students.