So Who Is To Blame?
Why am I the way I am? Yes, a person is born with certain traits. I was born the baby of six. That affected who I am. I know I was very spoiled and indulged in ways my siblings were not. I remember at a young age, maybe 8 or 9, going toe-to-toe with my dad at the dinner table on subjects like death penalty, racism, etc. Unless I was disrespectful, this dialogue was encouraged. So I think what forms a person the most is their family. But a close second is a great teacher!
I had many great teachers, too many to list. But my favorite was John Meier. He was my 7th and 8th grade teacher. He was also the school Principal. So many reasons that he is my favorite. One of the reasons is…..I was his favorite. (along with Dean, a boy I grew up with). We were definitely the teacher’s pet. How do I know this? Well all the students knew this. Kind of hard to miss. Back in the day, 1970’s, teachers did not worry about waiting for purchase orders. They just got into their own car, went to town, (Silverton), to get what ever the school needed. North Howell had accounts at all the stores in town. And back in the day, a teacher did not worry about driving students around in their car. So at least a couple of times a week, Mr. Meier would get the school secretary to watch the class and pick a couple of students to go with him. Just for the fun of it! And it was ALWAYS Dean and I. 🙂 Why would he choose us? We were his favorites and everyone knew it. Oh, I should have been kind and said….”Mr. Meier, take Ruth, or Cis, or Lisa this time”. Yes that would have been kind. But Dean and I knew something that none of them knew, (because they were never chosen). After running the errands, Mr. Meier, who had a sweet tooth, would stop at the bakery and buy us maple bars. I wasn’t giving that up for anyone. LOL.
With that said, there is another reason Mr. Meier is my favorite teacher. Good teachers teach a student facts. A great teacher teaches a student how to learn, find answers, question, and give them a love of learning. That was what Mr. Meier did for me. Let me give you an example that I still remember.
Mr. Meier taught two grades in one classroom. My class had only 8 students. He taught all subjects. But his masters were in history and science. His love of history, current events, geography, etc. brought a focus in our classroom. We listened to Paul Harvey during our lunch time, we read the first section of the news paper everyday, we spent far more time learning history, politics, geography than we did on any other subject. I am sure my language studies, Math, etc. suffered because of this. But boy do I still love history, the world, current events! But it was his way of teaching that made him extraordinary. I was in his class during the time of the Ford/Carter elections. Mr. Meier was a big time republican. I remember him asking me…”if you could Konnie, who would you vote for?” I said, “Oh Carter definitely!” He asked why?. I said something stupid like, “I think he is cuter”. 😦 Well, Mr. Meier said that I was smarter than that, and he wanted me to come back to him in a week with a better answer, in fact, he wanted a paper on it. So I used that week to read the paper more thoroughly, (no internet then), talk to my parents, go to the library, and in a week, I gave him a paper on why I would vote for Carter. After reading it, he did not tell me I was wrong, why he disagreed, any criticism at all. He just said, “Well done!) 🙂 That is a good teacher. No, Great teacher.
So along with genetics, my parents and siblings, my religion, my husband, circumstances, etc. You can also blame John Meier for who I am. 🙂