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Reunion with favorite schoolteacher 38 years on...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by PJ Muzikmansky, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    I decided to post this story as I thought some of you may appreciate the sentiment involved.

    Just this week I had the opportunity to visit my class teacher from 7th grade (1975). In my twelve years of schooling ('69-'80) he was by far my favorite teacher. I had not seen him since the end of '75. I was 12 years old at the time. I am now 50.

    I'd assumed long ago that I'd never ever see him again, as all this happened in the distant past: School was long gone, and as life got in the way (work, marriages, kids etc...) he had disappeared off my personal radar.

    I am now at that age though, when typically, one starts to look back at one's life and reflect on all that has happened, and the desire to get in touch with old friends and other people who have helped shape one's life for the better, is quite strong.

    The whole thing came together through another turn of serendipity, i.e. I recently found an old school friend through Facebook, whom I had not seen since 1978. During our many lengthy e mail exchanges, we talked at length about this particular teacher and how great he'd been. Well... I resolved there and then to find him and if possible, to visit him.

    The irony is that after a little detective work I found out that he lives only two hours away by car !

    As a twelve year old kid, I'd had a soft spot for this teacher, not only because of his remarkable skill for imparting information, capturing our interest and expanding our world view beyond the little country town in which we lived, but also for his warmth, friendliness and the genuine interest he displayed in his students; qualities that each preceding teacher i'd had up to that point (and as it turns out, those to come as well) had not displayed in such abundance. Of course, at the time, I hadn't realised the full extent of the impact he would have on my life, but nevertheless, I did sense something at the time in the form of his never-ending interest in the development and well-being of his students: me included.

    I called him and he remembered me, albeit vaguely, as in his words, literally hundreds of children had passed through his hands during his career as a teacher ( he is now 76). He invited me over, so two weeks later, accompanied by my wife (schoolteacher also), I drove up and we met both he and his wife.

    What ensued was the most marvellous reunion. As our conversation developed, everything gradually came back to him and I began to see once again, the great teacher that I'd once known as a twelve year old kid. Sure, he'd grown old, but his voice, his mannerisms , his turn of phrase were all there, just as I'd remembered.

    It was a real privilege to sit and discuss things with him as an adult. I got to tell him of the impact he'd made, not only on myself (I learned several life-long lessons from him) but on the other children as well. When I told him these things, he was silent , but i could see his eyes moisten. Yes...he'd made a difference, just like all great schoolteachers do.

    We ended up reminiscing for a good couple of hours and enjoyed the splendid morning tea that his wife had prepared. Thereafter, we parted as friends, but I continue to hold him in reverence as my former teacher.

    One final thought: I could not bring myself to address him in any way other than as "Mr Aeria" (his name).... the way I had always addressed him when I was his student in 1975. It just seemed the right and proper thing to do. The natural order of things...

    I will see him again...soon

    Thanks for listening
  2. surgay

    surgay Banned

    Sep 27, 2013
    Great story. Isn't it strange the people we remember who were role models for us. Even if we didn't realize it then.
  3. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    That's a wonderful tale. The world needs more of this.

    Great job, and thanks for sharing.
  4. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Love it. Thanks for sharing. :D
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    That is awesome. I have tried finding the teacher that made a significant impact in my life, but with no luck.
  6. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Thats awesome, Im sure that meant more to him than you'll ever know.
  7. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    Floyd Eye. I've always enjoyed reading your posts. I hope that it works out for you and that someday you DO find him.
  8. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    Thanks Bluesblaster: Indeed, that is my greatest wish
  9. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    This thread inspired me to try again. Contacted a guy with the same name late last night. Not him. Bummer.

    Seems like my teacher is fairly smart when it comes to remaining off the grid on the internet. I have significant information about him and there is nada.:meh:
  10. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Great story! Something similar happened with me and my former teacher, but not nearly as dramatic.

    In high school I took 4 years of Chorus as an elective, not because I was really interested in music or singing, but because I really respected the teacher and her students all seemed to think so highly of her. In all the time I was in her class, I never really showed any special skill with singing and I never even had a passion for music and I treated her class as just another academic subject.

    Several years after graduation, I joined a rock band as a vocalist and began to understand the value of having a good education in real singing and all the strict practicing she made us go through to get the most out of us.

    Out of necessity for our band, I began playing the bass and took to it with a real purpose. 20 years and many bands later, my greatest passion was music and playing and singing (often in front of an audience) occupied more of my time and gave me more pleasure than anything else in my life. I'm just a typical hobbyist musician playing weekend gigs in local venues but to me this is a big part of what makes life worth living.

    About five years ago, I happened to accidentally meet her in public and we talked for about 10 minutes. I explained to her how much her teaching had influenced me, more than any other teacher I ever had, and how, even though I didn't realize it at the time, she ignited a strong desire to play music and perform for an audience that would be so important in my later life.

    She started to cry and gave me a long hug before we parted and I could tell that it meant a lot to her to know that her teaching was so influential.
  11. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
  12. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    Inspiring. I know exactly how you feel :)

    Thanks for contributing to the thread.
  13. This thread has inspired me to finally track down a teacher that made a huge difference in my life. I just sent him an email. He doesn't work for the same school anymore, but is still at the same school board.

  14. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Well, as a teacher, I always find these reunions to be a little awkward. It's hard not to get all teary, but also awkward because more often than not I don't remember their name. :scowl: :D
  15. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I see a couple of my former teachers around the town I live in now. I still call them Mr. and Mrs. It feels like the right thing to do.


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