Hello, my name is Matthew Sortino and welcome to Moments of Clarity. Today, I am speaking to Mary Tomaino, or as I know her Miss Mary Tomaino.


Our lives are full of moments. Moments that help shape who we are today and many of these experiences are shaped by people. In most cases we are still connected to these people in one way or another but very occasionally, someone that was involved in your life for only a short amount of time can have a profound effect. This was true of my Primary School italian teacher, Miss Mary. 


I cannot express how amazing it was to have had the opportunity to be a student in her class. Even though she left when I was only 9 or 10, I felt a special connection and energy to this person. And I was not the only one. Friends that went to different primary schools but were taught by Miss Mary all have the same experience and fond memories. 


What was it that captivated our little minds and hearts? How can a teacher have such an influence? Well, as we will find out in our conversation, Mary made us feel like equals. She valued who we were as people, not as kids or not as students. She has lived her life in this way, exploring the world and treating others as equals. Paying deep attention to everyone she meets and their stories, whether it be the elderly people she works with today or the thousands of students she taught throughout her lifetime. 


I recently reached out to Mary and what do you know, she remembers so much about me over twenty years later, which is a testament to her character and values.


In today’s conversation, Mary and I discuss dealing with the impacts of coronavirus, the wisdom of our elders, the power of stories, spirituality, her stint as a nun, being a clown and a mime, being an Italian-Australian, politics, travel, teaching and so much more. 


Thank you so much for listening to Moments of Clarity.


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Instagram: @momentsofclaritypodcast

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Twitter: @BarneyMOC


Podcast by Matthew Barney

Music by Christian Prochilo

Artwork by Michael Chrisanthopoulos


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