Thursday, January 19, 2006


I think we all have at least one. That teacher from sometime in childhood we still think about as adults. We remember something they taught us, how they stayed with us and we wonder how they're doing today.

I had a dream recently that reminded me about a teacher I had in elementary school. He was in his late thirties, bald before it was cool and one of the most confident people I've ever known. He loved the Beach Boys, played hockey and [at least in the classroom] lived by some great rules that I still try to live by today.

Things like "don't bother other people" and, when playing handball on the playground, "if it's so close to the line that you have to talk about it, you should have played it." Things that seemed like good rules then strike me as profound logic now. Principles.

I often think back to one of his rules when I'm in a situation where people are acting like children- usually at work, or the airport. It's times like these when I think everyone should have had to take my teacher's class. Everyone should just not bother one another. Everyone should remember that if you have to talk about a silly mistake after the fact, you should have done something to prevent it. What a wonderful world it would be.

I don't know where my teacher is now. It's close to twenty years later since I was in his class. About ten since I've been back to volunteer in his classroom or at a school event. I'm sure he's retired. Hopefully he's enjoying it and somewhere, he knows that he taught a young girl, lacking confidence, a little about hockey, a little more about the Beach Boys and a lot about principles.

Thanks, Mr. B.

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