Teachers that change a life really do exist. Mr. Serra was my Spanish teacher—Spanish 3 junior year and Contemporary Spanish Literature senior year. I will tell you right up front that I had a big crush on him, despite the fact that I suspected he was gay. I didn’t care. He took my narrow, Catholic, suburban world of 1977 and opened me up to new possibilities. He taught me that the world didn’t stop at the Belt Parkway. He showed me, by his expectations, that I could be whatever I wished to be. No one had ever done that.