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Author Topic: A rather anticlimactic landmark
Member # 4704

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After a good five and a half months and 281 posts under my alternate screen name, you might think I would have something earth-shattering. If you did, you would be wrong. I just had trouble deciding what I wanted to write about, and did not really want to save any drafts on my work computer. I finally decided to describe some important teachers in my life. Enjoy.

The first teacher who taught me much of anything was my first grade teacher, Miss K. She was fair, and good. I learned in her class, and do not remember being bored at all. I was allowed to read her books pretty much any time I wanted. The clearest memory of her class is reading the book of Greek mythology. The only way I will have of recognizing it is the creation story- it told of the beginning as "dense mists", which eventually became Gaia and Uranus. Later Miss K became Mrs. C, and much later came to my graduation party. She liked me, but never hesitated to discipline me when I deserved it.

My fourth grade teacher was horrible. I hated her at the time, and the harsh feelings are blunted only by time. She singled me out, and made my year horrible. Fourth grade was the year my school had the students beging to use cursive exclusively. My mother claims that she could notice my handwriting deteriorating over the year. My parents said she felt threatened by my intelligence. Maybe. True or not, she was one of the most detestable humans I have ever had significant contact with. I was far from the only student she mistreated, although for their sake I hope no one was more affected than I. The worst thing she "taught" was the concept, and I quote, "They aren't really your friend if they aren't a Christian". I never fully accepted or agreed with the idea, but it did get buried in my subconscious for several years.

Mrs. J was my sixth grade teacher, for in the private religious school I attended elementary went up to six, and junior high was only seven and eight. She tried to challenge me, and in ways she did, but she could have done more. I got in trouble for reading while we were supposed to be doing homework. Worse, she punished the entire class when two or three were talking. On the other hand, we did learn lots in every subject. She expected us to do our "best" for reasons that remain unclear to me. Looking back, we should have done our best for ourselves, not for some nebulous obligation to... who? Still, she was probably the best elementary teacher I ever had, and this paragraph seems too hard on her.

My seventh grade history teacher was Mr. H. He made the subject come alive moreso than any other teacher before or since. We did projects that actually taught us something. When we were learning about the colonization of America, for a week or two he ran a sort of turn-based resource allocation game that drove home the choices and hardships the settlers faced. He assigned us to one of four religions and ran a debate. The parents of a student who did poorly in the class complained about him, and he was asked not to return the next year. Many more parents complained about that, and the administration backed off. He left anyway. I do not blame him.

As a junior in public school, I was required to take a "humanities" course which was an attempt to compress every form of art from the beginning of history to the present day. As a sophomore, I was not happy about this. Why did I need it? I got Mrs. W. I loved her. She made the course worth my time. I learned more in her class than I had in any before or since. Strangely, (or perhaps not), I was far from common in my appreciation of her. The "cool" teachers only made you learn if you felt like it. She forced you to learn whether you wanted to or not, but she was a really good teacher for anyone who did not actively fight instruction. Even those who did were generally dragged kicking and screaming into it. This description does not do her justice.

There ought to be a real conclusion here, but I do not feel like writing one. If you do not count graduating high school, it is not concluded yet anyway.

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Member # 4999

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Welcome back, (((Danzig)))!
Thanks for sharing.

My fourth grade teacher was [Evil Laugh] and then I had her again in sixth grade [Mad] I also remember my AP American History teacher and my AP English teacher. I remember all my teachers, but those are kind of the low and high extremes.

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Member # 923

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Have you gone back and spoken to any of them, Danzig? I bet they'd love to hear from you and know how you are doing.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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So what's the plan, Danzig?
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Member # 4924

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Danzig, this is only anticlimactic because you wanted it to be that way. [Wink]

But still, it is very nice to be able read your memoirs.

I agree with the concensus. Is there a To Be Continued here? I hope we don't have to wait another thousand posts to find out...

[ January 29, 2005, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: Alucard... ]

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Member # 1448

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I think you chose a good theme for your landmark, Danzig.

Teachers, whether skilled or not, make such a huge difference in everybody's lives.

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Member # 5567

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Great landmark, Danzig.

Made me think fondly of many of my old teachers.

I'm sure each of them contributed in some way to the person you are today.


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Member # 4704

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I have not gone back, but my first grade teacher did come to my graduation open house. When we were having our picture taken, someone asked me if she was my girlfriend.

The plan? Finish college, although there is no rush. I already have a real job and I see no reason to hurry along the suction of my soul from my body. Perhaps go to Europe, India, or South America for a year or two. Either declare an outright war upon society, or build it up in such a way as to help it collapse under its own weight. Find that special someone. Get financially secure. Agonize the dopamine and opioid receptors as much as possible. Stay true to my own code and care nothing for anyone else's. The usual, for the most part.

The story continues until the day I die, hopefully after a long enjoyable life. You will have to wait another thousand posts for the next landmark, but hopefully not another two hundred seventy-odd after that.

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Member # 6423

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Nice landmark, I love hearing about teachers.

I knew I missed someone to invite to my graduation open house, my 5th grade teacher, I put an invitation up in the teachers lounge of all my old schools, but she's no longer there, and was one of the most influential I had.

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Member # 5786

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Teachers…… Coaches were always the best!
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