FDA’s Foster deserving of honor

Published 9:34 am Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Waiters and waitresses love me.

That’s not boasting. It’s just a fact. To be honest, it really has very little to do with me at all. It’s because I’m such a fantastic tipper. I’m such a fantastic tipper in fact, that sometimes it makes my penny-pinching wife cringe just a bit.

It’s not that I’m more generous than she is. It’s that I am terrible at math. I have about as much chance of accurately calculating in my head what 15 percent of $39.78 is as I do winning the NBA slam dunk contest, and at 5-foot-7 with a vertical leap that will barely let a ray of light under my shoe, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. So since I am a firm believer in the age-old truth that you should never anger the person who handles your food, I tend to err on the side of caution and tip what I know has to be at least 15 percent. Sometimes it’s 15 percent, sometimes it’s 20. I’ve been known to tip 30 percent.

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I can get that close thanks in large part to Mrs. Susan Foster. She taught me math at Fort Dale Academy, and for four glorious weeks in the seventh grade I had a 100 average. That might not seem like a big deal, but for someone as mathematically challenged as myself, it’s really something. Even more miraculous is that while I like math about as much as I like getting punched in the face, I enjoyed Mrs. Foster’s class. She was, and still is, a fantastic teacher. She was recently named the Alabama Independent School Association’s Teacher of the Year. It’s a well-deserved honor.

Mrs. Foster has dedicated a large portion of her life to making sure her students have the skills to succeed in life, whether they are math wizzes or not.

She teaches her students to work hard, to think for themselves, to respect others and do their best no matter what. She’s strict, but fair, and while she dishes out tough love, her students know that she loves them and will love them long after they walk out of her classroom for the last time.

Mrs. Foster said she was surprised that she received the award. I was surprised as well — surprised it took this long for the AISA to name her Teacher of the Year.