I joined The Imago School at the start of fifth grade and can vividly remember torturing my poor parents nearly every night with the most pathetic, woeful sobs ever produced by a 10 year-old. How dare they pull me from my friends, my school, nearly every ounce of daily familiarity I had to join a Christian school that was strict and strange with only 11 children in my grade and a firm dress code? I had to wear a belt and penny loafers every day, for goodness sake! The crying only worsted with the onslaught of Ms. Dey’s rigorous history exams. Surely these exams were created for 56 year-old geniuses and she was trying to drive us crazy with term lists, short answers and, worst of all, formal essays. I had to learn how to study properly, retain information and then convey that information in an intelligent, organized, grammatically correct way; and I did. The exams became easier, writing became a joyful pastime, and those 11 children became some of my very best, sweetest, lifelong friends who have shared in the delight of graduations, weddings, babies and the every day. I cannot picture my life without them. Although my parents never said “I told you so”, I am deeply thankful for the immense blessing they gave me through Imago. I graduated in 1997, went on to Nashoba Regional High School, then to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where I graduated with a degree in Communications, and a fiancé.
Steve and I were married shortly after graduation and promptly moved from Massachusetts to Georgia, where I began working for a large medical software company. My role in the company was within the scope of marketing and PR, and I became the chief writer of press releases, also aiding in the creation of nearly all marketing, sales, and ad copy as well as the editor of all company materials that came across my desk. I wrote published articles for my company and aided in speech-writing for our C-level employees. When corporate deadlines loomed and I was charged with writing several releases within one afternoon, I felt that after surviving what seemed like a countless number of Ms. Dey’s history exams, surely a few press releases would be a piece of cake.
I am now the very proud mother of four children, Thomas, 6, Wim, 4, Lucy, 3 and Theo, 16 months and my days are spent rediscovering the splendor of God’s creation through their eyes. In my academic and professional life, I felt eternally grateful to Imago for the classical education I received. I knew that I was able to build my career upon writing because of Mrs. Hintze’s writing exercises, and because of her relentless insistence upon learning and utilizing grammatical correctness. At the tender age of 10, I could stop my aunt in her tracks at our family thanksgiving buffet with a single utterance: “The subject of the sentence is in the nominative case.” Now that I am a mother of school-aged children, I am grateful to Imago for entirely different reasons. In the seventh grade, I genuinely forgot to do my math homework. I was wrought with guilt and shame and decided it would be better to tell Mrs. Beals at the beginning of the day, rather than carry the burden of guilt until math. I will never forget how she responded. She was unhappy that I had forgotten, but told me not to worry, used the word “grace” and gave me until the next day to complete it without any penalty. I desperately want my children to attend a school that upholds classical education, but above all else, teaches Christianity in every moment possible.
There are too many perfect Imago memories that are forever etched in my mind to list here. When my Imago friends and I are together, we can’t help but recount as many as we can, and laugh at the fun we had. Speaking in a secret, self-made, partially correct Latin. Having to shamefully choose an ugly belt from the belt closet when I forgot to wear mine (a recurring memory). The thrill of eating maple syrup, snow and pickles when Jean-Louis was in town, our extreme excitement convincing us it was delicious. Witnessing my brother sing “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No” for a school musical audition while Mrs. Bancroft tried to suppress her giggling as she accompanied on the piano. Exchanging entertained and bewildered looks with my class as Mrs. Hintze told us to write an essay about… a potato on her desk. Holding my nose back-stage as nearly the entire cast of the Pirates of Penzance threw up as Strep picked us off one by one. Singing beloved songs every Wednesday in Chapel. The memories never end, and hopefully one day, my children will attend a school just like Imago and make beautiful memories of their own.