Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lighting A Fire And Passing The Torch

The Good Dr. Monkerstein had a post recently in which he remembered a teacher he had in high school who made life a lot better for him. It reminded me of a post I'd been planning on a teacher I remember.

Recently, I watched the 1999 movie Titus. The movie is based on the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus. It reminded me of the great 1995 version of Shakespeare's Richard III that starred Sir Ian McKellen. McKellen's version was set in an imagined fascist 1930's England, while Titus, though set in Roman times, included deliberate anachronisms, such as motorcycles, modern clothes and such. Both movies remind me of how great and relevent Shakespeare's work is still. And both movies reminded me of who turned me on to Shakespeare-- Holly Haberle, my high school senior year English Literature teacher.

Mrs. Haberle was probably in her forties when she was my teacher. She was a tall, attractive, passionate redhead who could do the impossible-- get a bunch of bored or preoccupied suburban high school seniors to get excited about the Canturbury Tales, Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Since the class was one of the higher-track classes, nearly every class member was college-bound. Senior year, then, counted for little, because our ACT and SAT scores and junior year GPA's were already in to the colleges we had applied to. "Senioritis" it was called. Holly had her work cut out for her.

Yet, she did it. Nearly 30 years later, I can remember the discussions. We read and discussed Hamlet. Was he a brooding, dark prince-- or just a big weenie who couldn't take action? We discussed Macbeth's schemes and discussed if he would have murdered the king himself, of if his ambitious wife had driven him to it. We discussed the world depicted in Huxley's Brave New World in which there was no pain, no heartache, no want-- but also no passion, no curiousity, no love. I felt like I knew each of the characters in The Canterbury Tales personally. I became so interested in Percy Bysshe Shelley I sought out and read a biography of him.

Years later, I realized that I'd made a lifetime decision while in that class: to live life on a level of passion. It's gotten my metaphorical ass kicked in life here and there, but it's been overall worth it.

And looking back on 15 years of teaching, I think that part of it was to fulfill a debt to Holly Haberle, Bill Lally, Elmer Chessman, Barb Krog and a handful of other teachers who brought their passion for their academic subjects and for life to their classrooms and shared it with me.

A couple of months ago, I checked my account at Classmates.com and discovered that my favorite-ever student, Edward Gonzales, had signed my guestbook. I'll save him for "Students I Remember" post in the next few days. Let if suffice now to say that I discovered on www.classmates.com that Edward, a sixth-grader who spoke English as a second language, and had severe learning disabilites when he was my student in 1992-1993, went on to attend and graduate from Columbia College here in Chicago-- he studied graphic design, and now works as a graphic designer. I'm glad that there were other teachers after me who must have encouraged him. I'm glad that I did my little part in it all. The fact that he remembers me fifteen years later says I must have done something right. I hope that there's a handful of others who I helped. Thanks Holly. I hope I've repaid my debt.

22 comments:

'Bubbles' said...

Another awesome post about education, JY! There's nothing like an educator that has conviction and passion for their subject matter. Any leader for that matter. How can a leader gather any followers without exhibiting passion and illustrating the value of whatever they are trying to accomplish?

Having been accused of being too intense in my life I've given it thought. Well, it may hurt twice as bad at times, it may take twice the energy, and it might not always make you the most popular - but the joy, happiness, laughter, and goodness is equally intense - you know what I mean?

Hey, I'll look forward to seeing you and Kim at the Tiki place! Yahoo!

Erik Donald France said...

Amen again, brother! Have you seen Scotland, PA per chance?

lulu said...

Scotland PA rocks, too bad it's too F-word filled to show in class.

Tall, redheaded English teachers tend to have that effect on people.

Dale said...

I really enjoyed Titus, the Taymor film and what a wonderful post. I've had a few great teachers in my life and wish I'd had a few more. You have a lasting impact Johnny Yen.

Distributorcap said...

we need more teachers like yourself, Mrs Haberle and others....

we wouldnt be in the place we are if we did........

then again who wants to learn when we all just want to be Paris Hilton

JY -- you never cease to amaze me with such terrific stories

SamuraiFrog said...

Fantastic post. I like reading fond memories of teachers lately, since I've begun teaching. Gives me a lot of hope.

Natalie said...

A fitting tribute to be sure. I still remember the beginning of The Canterbury Tales in Olde English that i recited for extra credit. Those were some good tales.

GETkristiLOVE said...

I think you have more than repaid your debt JYen.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Great post man, I'm sure you touched many a kid's life while you taught.

Hot Lemon said...

Hmmm... Nice. Still, though, I prefer the movie "Tit Us". But that's me.

Anonymous said...

三重房屋 , 三重賣屋 , 三重賣屋 , , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 三重房屋 , 三重賣屋 , 三重賣屋 , , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 三重房屋 , 三重賣屋 , 三重賣屋 , , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 三重房屋 , 三重賣屋 , 三重賣屋 , , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿

Anonymous said...

民宿 , 民宿 , 民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 , 徵信社 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 尋人 , 尋人 , 尋人 , 尋人 , 離婚 , 外遇 , 離婚 , 外遇 , 徵信社 , 外遇 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 尋人 , 離婚 , 尋人偵探 , 偵探 , 三重房屋 , 三重買屋 , 三重賣屋 , 花蓮民宿 , 花蓮民宿 ,

Anonymous said...

徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 尋人 , 尋人 , 尋人 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 徵信 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 感情挽回

Anonymous said...

感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 徵信社 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計公司 , 網頁設計公司 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計

Anonymous said...

網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , SEO , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 網頁設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 廣告設計 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶

Anonymous said...

包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 包二奶 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦

Anonymous said...

抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 大陸抓姦 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚

Anonymous said...

離婚證人, 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚證人 , 離婚協議 , 離婚協議 , 離婚協議 , 離婚協議 , 離婚協議 , 離婚協議 , 離婚協議 , 離婚協議 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 婚外情 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴

Anonymous said...

抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 抓猴 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 感情挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回

Anonymous said...

婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 婚姻挽回 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇 , 外遇 , 外遇 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 外遇問題 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌

Anonymous said...

出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 出軌 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 監護權 , 偷腥 , 偷腥 , 偷腥 , 偷腥 , 偷腥 , 偷腥 , 偷腥 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查 , 工商調查

Anonymous said...

工商調查 , 工商調查 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋 , 中信房屋711房仲網 , 中信房屋711房仲網 , 中信房屋711房仲網 , 中信房屋711房仲網 , 中信房屋711房仲網 , 中信房屋711房仲網 , 中信房屋711房仲網 , 中信房屋711房仲網 , 中信房屋711房仲網抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 抓姦 , 外遇 , 外遇 , 外遇 , 外遇 , 外遇 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 離婚 , 外遇 , 外遇 , 外遇 , 偵探