Some people come into your life and change its direction forever. Naturally, there have been several of these in my life so far and I’m sure there will be even more. But I was reading the local community newspaper last night and found out one of these people, Mr Derek Wood, has passed on. I knew Mr Wood as my high school counsellor at a prominent Southern Suburbs high school.
I didn’t have an easy time at there, in fact, Gr8 was a living hell that got worse with every day. But this man, on the worst day of that year (along with the fantastic Jocelyn Hui aka DJ Noodle), changed the path of my life. He suggested I leave the school I was at – pretty much with immediate effect – and transfer to Cedar House (the most amazing school in the world). There I met good friends, there I grew and was allowed to be the person I am today, there I actually, well, liked school. Without his guidance, his suggestions and his unwavering support of a weirdo girl who wasn’t made for mainstream high schools, I probably would have ended up a very different (and very bitter) person.
Mr Wood died of a heart attack on 1 September. I doubt anyone in his family will ever find this or even any other student he interacted with will, but I’d just like to acknowledge a man who put me on the start of the path to where I am today. Thank you, for seeing me. Thank you, for hearing me. Rest in peace.