I'll have to say Franklin Geist made a huge difference in my life. I was (well, still am) not very good at math. I really, really wanted to drop the Algebra II / Trigonometry class I was taking as I wasn't doing very well in it. When I asked him, he looked at me and then disappeared down the hallway.
When he came back about five or 10 minutes later he had some papers in his hands. "It shows here you've got an average aptitude for math." Based on that, he decided I shouldn't be let off the hook. I don't think I ever got any better at math, but I learned a lesson far more important about slogging through something I'd started. I think about that interaction all the time -- and it happened it the early 1980s. ~ Adam Tschorn '83