(Student) Teacher Appreciation


Abigail Gallup at University of Florida

Sophia Lowrie

With less than ten days left before the seniors depart from the classroom for the last time, their efforts and hard work this year deserve to be appreciated now more than ever. One senior in particular has made a huge influence on my work ethic and motivation and her hard work is admired by many students. Abigail Gallup has directed unmotivated and lazy students better than anyone I’ve ever seen and her abilities exceed beyond the classroom. 

My sophomore year, when I was on the bus like every afternoon, a soft spoken girl I didn’t recognize asked me if the bus was going to stop at the bus stop we shared. The bus was very unpredictable (and still is) and I was always nervous of being forgotten or too shy to speak up to make sure I arrived at my stop. It reminded me of myself and how scared I had been to correct the driver my first few times riding the bus. This was my first impression of the current Editor and Chief of the newspaper.

Less than a year later we moved from our trailer roots into the new building and I knew for certain that I wanted to be a part of something more and make my voice heard in this larger environment. I attended an unsuccessful poetry/writing workshop club where one other student besides me who had a yearning for creative writing showed up. For a while I struggled to find a place to share my voice and write creatively.

At one point I was handed what I didn’t know would be the key to my future, a paper copy of a freshly printed newspaper full of other student’s creative writing. I studied each page and found a perfectly crafted opinion piece titled ‘He Said, She Said’, with the names of writers Abigail Gallup and Colin Donegan below it. I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of The Wave and learn from the writers of the newspaper. It was strangely motivating for me to see that the Abby I thought I knew as soft spoken and shy was the same Abby I saw sharing her opinions through her writing in the same way I wanted to.

I had always struggled with feeling accepted, and The Wave almost immediately provided that for me. I approached Abby in Physics class and with her guidance I was able to express my ideas on the Gabby Petito case in an article. The process of writing my first article was very rocky and I had a lot of improving to do, but nothing beat the feeling of having my first successful article featured front and center on The Wave’s website. After that first article, I immediately was brainstorming ideas for my next piece. With each publication I was able to better express my thoughts and be more comfortable with expressing my opinions on topics that are very important to me. 

Without Abby’s guidance and admirable independence I probably would have simply let the opportunity to be a part of something important pass me by.  Now after growing as a writer and learning from her it is bittersweet to know she will be graduating in such a short time. So although her teaching is not met with a salary or a paycheck, she is also deserving of appreciation for her incredible influence on not only The Wave but myself as well.