Thursday, June 21, 2007

A special teacher

Sometimes you wonder how you arrived where you are in the world today. That deep pondering first came to mind as I listened to The Common Man a week or two back. I exerted the effort necessary to make a note of the topic of that particular segment and I wholeheartedly intended to write at least something on it and today's that day. Sure, it's after 11 PM but busy times create weird schedules.

The underlying topic of that particular segment was favorite teachers. Honestly speaking, I was never much of a school guy. I "missed" my fair share of classes with better things to do such as video games with friends, lazy and warm summer days at a park, daytime roadtrips and spending the day with that special lady at that particular moment in time.

I did realize, however, that school was necessary and still did well in spite of my "absences" and my habit of napping in class. There was one teacher who I had for at least one class each year of my four years at Austin High School. It's true that you can't run from your roots but I never tried. Growing up on an actual working farm, I saw my dad in particular working in many "hands-on"-type situations. He was and still is a novice electrician, novice mechanic, novice carpenter as well as novice anything else because it keeps the family business (the farm) running.

Once I entered high school, I was amazed at the "industrial arts" portion of the electives offered. Hell, there is even a separate building which housed those particular classes. I jumped right in beginning with my freshman year. I tried my hand at electronics, electrical wiring, wood shop, engineering, landscaping, drafting, multimedia, graphic arts and even an independent study as well as other classes I have forgotten about. The one constant through those four years was that one particular teacher. His name is Vincent Lynch. His classes were fun and having seen me for three previous years, he accepted me into an independent study tinkering with crap in his lab, grading papers and adding to the computer network in that building in the early days of the internet.

I don't know if I would have had the same interests today if it weren't for Mr. Lynch. Between that teacher and my experiences growing up, I don't know if I would be where I currently am. Sure, I had always had an interest in what I would find out to be Graphic Design but I do a lot more than that. I've done the whole computer networking gig, I've done plenty in the way of electronics from car-related stuff to computer repairs, my previous and most recent forays into building an advanced and rich multimedia internet presence for my employer and the never ending hands-on bordering on hard labor around the homestead.

Mr. Lynch, I owe you plenty for where I am today. Sure, it's far from a glamorous life but it doesn't suck. Even though we gave him a heart attack in my junior year, he liked us all. What about the six people reading this? Do you have a favorite teacher from your past? Does that past correlate to your present place in the world?


H said...

I had a ton of favorite teachers. It's hard to pick just one and they all shaped me into who I am today. Even though I have probably fallen fall short of a lot of their expectations I still owe them immensely for always believing in me.

One very obvious way that a teacher helped to shape me is my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Netz, making me put my handwriting "on a diet" because I used to write huge (filling up the entire line on a piece of wide-ruled notebook paper). I'm sure my handwriting would have changed over time, but then again, who knows? Maybe if she hadn't made me do that I'd still be writing ginormously.

David said...

I had an English teacher, Mr. Walker, who was brutal. He would demand my very best. And then show me how to write even better. I had him twice in high school, as a Sophomore and as a Senior. My Junior year I got a 100% on every paper. My freshman year in college I not only got a 100% on all my English papers, the teacher routinely made overheads out of my essays to use examples to show the class what they ought to have done. Where am I now? An English Teacher. I teach GED Language Arts and GED History in a prison. I also am half way through my Master's so I can become a principal. Where is Mr. Walker now? Working as a principal!

Great post. I'll be back!