When I think of Karen I see a smile. Karen, or maybe I should say Kaaaren, or KKK Areeen, or k a-aaaaren, knows the value of a smile.
There are people , like me, who look a kind of angry when their face is in rest looking around for contact. There are others, like Karen , who prefer to smile. You can see  many things in a smile. For example. This year on screen I also started to smile more often than I normally do. It happened almost automatically. I am not sure why but I think partly because it was simply the only thing we could do at that moment: just keep on smiling, against all odds. I do not want to speculate too much on what there is behind the smile of Karen, I only know there is more than one smile. There is the nice-to-see-you-smile, the I-feel-good- smile, but also the I-do-not-feel-good-at-all- smile. There is the this-is-not exactly-what-I-mean-to-say smile and the this-is-not-at-all-what-I-want-to-talk-about-smile. I have also seen Karen cry in class, all of a sudden. Which was a bit of a shock to me, because it was my first time ever cry-moment in class - at least what I remember. I don’t know what it says about me or my lessons that I have never had such a moment before in class, but this first time with Karen was an ‘oops-what-is-now-expected-from-me-as-a-teacher-in-these-situations-moment’. Fortunately Karen tears did not really seem to disturb her, she simply continued speaking. After class I went to her talking a bit about the issue which made her cry: which was about shame.
It is said more often and it is also my experience, that a teacher does not teach to teach, the teacher teaches to learn.  You all dear students might think differently, certainly at a night like this, but we teachers are in fact the real students in class and you are our teachers. Like everyone I have had my favorite teachers this year, you know the kind and understanding ones, or the ones you learn from most. Karen was certainly one of my favorite teachers this year.  I learned a lot from her about almost everything you have to learn at school. First of all: to be inspired. Without inspiration there is not much to look for at school. Not for a teacher and not for a student. 
Inspiration is not something you can teach or learn, you simply have to tap into it. That tapping in is a conditional thing. So if you are not inspired you have to change the conditions and circumstances. And Karen did, more than once. She is so to say a professional inspiration delver. No mountain so high is able to stop this inspiration hunter. Very effective in her case were some months she stayed in Portugal. Without this stay  we would have seen another Karen now. People are an important inspiration too. Karen was always very hungry for feedback. Specific feedback. By people she trusted.  The final document of Karen  is a tribute to all these people who inspired her in her work. Most of all of course Parvaneh she started to work with only a few months ago in what became a very inspiring cooperation.
After this years with Karen I count my lessons learned. Apart from smiling more often, and not being afraid of showing emotions in class, I learned about the difficulty of facing your shame, and the need to keep on confronting it, I learned taking the responsibility to be inspired, and to pay attention to every detail. There is more. Like also to keep on seeing the humor even when things get serious.
We all know it is no easy stuff what Karen has been dealing with, but when you see how she presents this research online, like a file in a file in a file in a file, that needs to be unpacked endlessly, again and again, like  precious good that seems to hide itself, you may understand the sensitivity at hand but you will do that with a smile.

( Domeniek Ruyters )