In all my years of education, from kindergarten through grad-school, the person who was most instrumental in helping me learn was Sylvia Butler, who I was fortunate to have for English in eighth and ninth grade, as well as in eleventh and twelfth grade. What made her stand out from the scores of teachers and professors I’ve had is that she inspired me to be use my strengths as a creative thinker and dreamer by helping me understand that education is not about grades or test scores, but making a life that is meaningful and nourishes learning. She allowed me to do things differently and to take creative risks by encouraging me to not worry about what grade I would earn. Instead, she motivated me to personalize my assignments and to draw upon my sense of humor, irony, and unique way of looking at a situation. When I entered college, on occasion I would have a teacher who would allow me to do this, but they were the extreme exception, and not the rule. Thus, my college years, while meaningful, did little to help me nurture my individuality. After graduating from college with a degree in accounting and working as a