Tuesday, November 11, 2008

School Days Nostalgia

As one does from time to time, especially as we get a little older, I browse the obituaries from where I grew up and went to school (sounds like a song, doesn't it.) It's a little morbid, I know. I'm not really sure why I do it, other than to see if people I know in my hometown have passed away.

Anyway, as I was browsing the obits today, I saw that a young man (39) had passed away, and the pastor in charge of the mass was an elementary school teacher of mine. Mr. Stein, now Father Stein, was my third grade teacher. I remember him being one of my favorite teachers at the time, and during the school year, he left teaching to become a catholic priest. I was sad that he was leaving us, but knew he was going onto something more important in life.

Being that the obit mentioned the church he was serving at, I looked up the church, and although he didn't have an email address himself, there was a general church email address. So, I sent an email to the church's email address, hoping it sees its way to him. I really hope to hear back from him, as, while I don't remember a whole lot from the 3rd grade, I do remember him being a kind and gentle soul to his students. I don't know if he did this for all his students, but I remember him making a visit to my home to tell me and my parents that he was leaving for the priesthood. That left an impression on me to this day.

I've had a lot of teachers that left an impact on me later in life. While I never recognized it back then, as I've grown older and wiser, I think back to those teachers and remember (most) of them fondly. At times, I will contact them via email, if I have an email address for them, and check up on them, and catch up with them to see what they are up to these days, as most of them have since retired.

My youngest sister is a teacher, and I hope that, when the time comes, one or more of her students will look back to the times when they had my sister as a teacher and remember all the things she taught them, not only school lessons, but life lessons as well.

If you are a teacher, God bless you. If you had a teacher that left an impact on you, let them know, if they are still around. I'm sure they will appreciate it.

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