Vai's View: English teacher's commitment made profound impact

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  • Harry Dinn w jordan, ut
    May 14, 2012 3:20 p.m.


    Love your articles. Keep up the great work!

  • hc1951 Bend, OR
    May 13, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    My High School English teacher was the same way. I think they are BORN with a red pen in their hands ;-)

  • dung beetle Bountiful, UT
    May 13, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    I'm highly impressed by your efforts to find some of the folks who've made a difference in your life and grateful that you're sharing these stories with us.

    Many years ago I had an impression that I needed to do what you're doing, but nearly all the folks I wanted to thank had passed on. One day in the temple it occurred to me to ask the Lord to convey my gratitude and a report of my life to them. A week or so later I got a message that those folks appreciated my thinking of them and the message of my gratitude they got; and they were gratified to learn I had finally grown up and made something of myself.

    Lesson learned: It's never too late to thank those who helped made you what you are.

  • jamsenior SANTAQUIN, UT
    May 12, 2012 2:19 p.m.

    Vai I graduated from Mesa High 77 so I'm a proud Jack Rabbit too! I love reading your columns for dealings of real life but also the spriritual upliftment they give me. I was so touched by your series about missionaries that I printed and gave them to my almost mission eligible age wise son and encuraged him to read them because of the power of the spirit they had. I know he read at least one and was also touched by the spirit. On May 9, 2012 my wife and I loaded in to our and drove from our home in Santaquin, UT to the Provo MTC to begin his mission in of all places the Mesa AZ mission to serve under Pres. Ellsworth! What a surprise and a joyous blessing to serve in the area where I grew up, went on a mission, met my wife and was sealed to her in the Mesa Temple. Thank you for your stories and the inspiriation they are and the example you are!

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    May 12, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    The value of a good, a great teacher. Loved it! She apparently made her mark on you, Vai, because you have a great writing talent, so human and down-to-earth.

    As a teacher, I appreciate your sharing!

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    May 12, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    @ TheHailstorm
    When did life or sport become so one dimensional?

  • Heater BALA CYNWYD, PA
    May 11, 2012 11:10 p.m.

    NIce story.

    @TheHailstorm, the DN can put Vai's stories in Obit and people will find it, so don't fret. It's in Faith. But also in Sports because he comments on sports issues, as he did so poignantly last week on his friend Jr Seau. Or, he writes about people like Barbara Nielsen and Marty Klein - regular folks, like you and me who had an impact on his life. Just go with it. See for yourself how commenters are impacted by it. Be happy.

  • johnwb Mesa, AZ
    May 11, 2012 11:01 p.m.

    Vai- Does the name Larry Mullenaux ring a bell? I believe that you worked with him when you were in high school or something like that. Anyway, he always spoke very highly of you. I absolutely love your stories! There should be a movie made of your life!

  • TheHailstorm South Weber, UT
    May 11, 2012 9:47 p.m.

    I always a wonder how the sports page keeps Vai's opinionated messages with barely a word concerning sports.
    I not big on opening the sports page and finding another article of his.
    Wouldn't his comments be better suited for the " lifestyle" section ?

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    May 11, 2012 5:51 p.m.

    Great stuff! thanks Vai

  • WYOREADER Gillette, WY
    May 11, 2012 5:32 p.m.

    When I need a good cry I read the column about Brother Klein now I have one to add to the reading material. Thanks Vai! It truly makes me think of all the adults that helped shape the woman/mother/wife/grandmother I have become.

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    May 11, 2012 5:05 p.m.

    A few times a day I get an email reminder about the stories in the Deseret News - Mormon Times, etc... They usually make it in the trash folder without attention, unless there is a "Vai" article. I am glad I am now a fan because of excellent articles like these. Thanks Vai.

  • frankie boy Dove Canyon, CA
    May 11, 2012 4:45 p.m.

    Now I understand why you have a gift for writing that far exceeds your talents as a kick returner....

    Great stuff that I make a point of reading - and BTW I am not LDS....

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 11, 2012 4:19 p.m.

    This is out of character for the D-News to publish these heartfelt stories praising teachers but thanks anyway...

  • Michael De Groote
    May 11, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    Hey Vai,

    Mrs. Nielsen is everything you said and more. I had no idea she had done so much for you. Her impact on me was profound as well -- and I'm not talking about English. She believed in my potential -- and when she believed in you, you couldn't doubt.

    Oh, thank you for your kind words about me as well. But, that part of the description where you called me "nerdy" needs an proper answer -- such as getting some old photos of you scanned and attached to this story tomorrow. :-)

    Go Jackrabbits!

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    May 11, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    Vai what I like about you is you talk real life and not some concocted made up story that you mostly hear from others. I had similar experiences and often share them with family but not with the world. I had the most boring History teacher but now I wish I could thank him. And I had the same type of English teachers too. I think they are bred that way.

    I was at BYU at the part of the same time as you and it was some good times. The only thing I can say about my football career is that I apparently looked just like Gifford Nielson. Same size and shape and very similar facial features. So my freshman year before my mission (Fall 76) everyone thought I was Gifford. (Never met him) Closest thing I came to stardom. OK does being distantly related to Steve Young count? (Never met him either) but loved to watch him play.

    Thanks Vai for the refreshing change to the gloom and doom we often see and hear in the news. I love to take a break and hear your stories that often bring back many memories of my own.