Friday, May 4, 2007

Memorial to a great teacher........

Yesterday was a pretty sad day, I attended a memorial service for one of my favorite teachers who passed away in March. He worked at the local college where I first started my higher education. He was my english and speech teacher for the first 2 quarters, and one of the most fun people to be around. He must have thought a lot of me too, because he asked me to be a tutor for one of his classes, and help a student that was struggling. I really felt honored that he choose me out of all the other students. The door to his office and his favorite bench outside, when he chewed on his pipe and the days happenings were always open for a good conversation. I took a lot of what he taught me to my other school, and I passed on a way to write that he taught me to my own kids when they are struggling with how to put a topic on paper.

I learned so much more about him yesterday, and found out that he touched more than my life, he touched all that knew him. There were so many people who spoke about how much he ment to them. You know life goes on, and I lost touch with him, but about a week before his death, I happened to run into him at a local business, and as usual he engaged me in conversation, and wanted to know how I was doing. I only wish now I could have sat down on his favorite bench and chewed the days happenings.

I wasn't going to speak yesterday at his memorial but I felt compelled to let his family know what a great teacher he was, and I got pretty choked up while speaking. I got most of the things out that I wanted to say, but then last night I couldn't help but think he was up in heaven and saying, "Marie , you didn't prepare". He was always joking, and he would have said that with a smile. I thought about what else I wanted to say but couldn't get out, so I am going to say it now:

"There are 2 teachers in my life that stand out in my memory:

1. Keith Langford, my 5th grade teacher at Terra Linda Elementary, who gave me love of reading.

2. Allen Hibbard, my college english teacher and mentor, who gave me the love of writing.

Without these two great teachers coming into my life, I would not be the person I am today."

This card I made awhile ago is dedicated to Allen, he was a inventor and made handcarved fly fishing poles. He loved fly fishing., which is another thing we sat a talked about, because that is the only way I fish, and he loved that fact. Thanks to my Dad for teaching me how to fly fish. Thanks Allen for making a difference in my life.


Tami said...

What a beautiful tribute, MJ. We lost a dear friend and college professor a few years back and still talk fondly of him.

Ethel Amutan said...

MJ, I am so very sorry for the loss of your special mentor, friend and teacher. He will forever live in your memory and in your heart; and the love for life and for study that he imparted with you, you will, in turn, give to your children. I am crying from reading your beautiful tribute. He has certainly made his mark in our world.