Jill's Place
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Friday, February 04, 2005
I like staying in touch with people from my whole life. Witness reconnecting with LL after who knows how many years, and my ongoing connection with my bestest bud Carol Ann. We've been great friends since we were 7 years old, and with any luck, for the rest of our lives. She's a very important part of our family, and the child just adores her. Another person who hangs out here is one of my favorite teachers from high school. You've seen him as Jay in the comments, I call him Mr. R., because that's as close as I can come to casualness (is that a word? I think it is.) with a former teacher. He was one of those teachers who really put all he had into trying to reach the kids, and you could tell, if you were paying attention. Sadly, lots of the kids in my school weren't particularly paying attention, but I was. Of course, he had his moments of hilarity too. I remember him dropping a very heavy book on the desk of a student who was sleeping in class. And was there a time when he whizzed an eraser very near a kid who was probably smarting off? That seems to chime an ancient bell in my brain. Things just seemed to happen in his class. I had a huge fight with my friend Jennifer over . . . what was it, American History? She had the rare talent of being able to sleep with her eyes open, and she always wanted to copy my notes. I shared my notes with her for a while, but I got tired of that right quick, and told her she needed to wake up. I couldn't figure out why she'd want to sleep during an interesting class. Boy, was she pissed when I wouldn't share my notes with her anymore. Of course, I liked school, and she really didn't, she was just trying to get through it and move on. I wanted to move on too, I suppose, but as long as I was already there, I wanted to learn as much as possible. When I graduated from school, there were a couple of teachers who I knew had really made a difference in my life. He was one of them. Shortly after I graduated I wrote them thank you notes, which is quite a pitiful way to express how important they had been in my education, but it was the best option I had. I was far too shy at that time to say anything remotely like that in person. Hell, I probably still wouldn't do that. But post it online, where anyone can read it? Why, sure! I can't remember who the other teachers were. Dr. Roy? Mrs. Carr? There were two others, I think. These were definitely not teachers with easy classes (I'm not sure there really were any easy classes at Model). But when you came out at the end, you realized how much you had learned. I know that Mr. R. was one of the teachers who mattered to me. He made history come alive, and everything started to make sense in his class. Like I said, if you were paying attention. A while back, I ran across his name online somewhere. Gee, was it on Classmates? Or on the state e-mail address list while I was looking for someone else? I can't remember. In any case, I e-mailed him to see if it was the same person, and sure enough . . . I'm awfully glad to be back in touch with him, and to know how he's doing now. His wife is lovely, and I've enjoyed lunch with them on several occasions. I should have guessed that our politics were quite similar. Like I said, he always made sense! Heh. But actually, I don't remember his politics ever coming through in class. If you had asked me or any other student, we wouldn't have had a clue how he felt personally about any issue. It's nice now, though, to chat with him about politics. He's exceptionally intelligent and well-informed, and as a former history teacher, he sees the big picture more than most people do. Oh, look, he's blushing when he reads this, I bet. Anyway, back to the title of this post. Bookmark this.

2/04/2005 08:22:00 AM :: ::
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