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The Mission Chronicle

The Mission Chronicle

Julio at 7 years old in Guatemala
A New Student’s Story
February 8, 2024

Former English teacher now published YA author

Chalida Anusasananan

With just the few pages that I read of Rana Joon and The One & Only Now I could feel the grief that Shideh Etaat talked about when she came into a classroom she once knew.

Ms. Etaat was an English teacher here at Mission High School and she recently just published her first young adult novel. In the book, Rana, the main character, is a teenager who is in her senior year of high school. Rana experiences the feelings she has for girls and gives us a vision of her journey to come out to her mother, her family, and the close ones around her. 

She visited Mr. Scott’s AP Language class of seniors and Ms. Mufti’s ninth grade English class.

Ms. Etaat with Ms. Mufti’s class. (Chalida Anusasananan)

Ms. Etaat let our ears listen to her unique and inspiring story. Even though she has experienced immense sadness in her life, you couldn’t tell based on her bright smile. Her words definitely cut through and touched my heart. 

Ms. Etaat suffered a personal tragedy while working at Mission and she had to stop teaching. She even had to stop writing for awhile. 

I loved it when she said, “I hate when people say, ‘I can’t imagine what it feels like’ because everyone is human. Of course you can imagine what grief feels like.” This phrase will stay with me forever. Of course as humans we can imagine how grief and losing someone feels like. 

The protagonist, Rana, is so realistic. You can create an image in your head of how she felt when she was going through a tough time. At the same time you can feel Rana’s boldness and a spark in her wanting to feel alive again with what she is passionate about doing, writing poetry 

I highly recommend everyone read Ms. Etaat’s book.

Shideh Etaat is such an inspiration.

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About the Contributor
Chalida Anusasananan, Teacher Adviser
she/her Ms. A loves working with young people in the school library and listening to their ideas in Journalism and American Literature. When not at school, you can find her walking around SF, scouring farmers markets or browsing at the public library.
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