Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hall Johnson Farm 10/30/10

Just before Halloween, Carol and I got to take the two local grand girls to Hall Johnson Farm in Colleyville. The bottom photo is a video.

Just before Halloween, Carol and I got to take the two local grand girls to the Hall Johnson Farm nearby.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Teachers

While attending my class's 40th high school reunion last weekend, I was blessed to see some of our former faculty. It it good to know that as we near middle age, our class still has its faculties. Anyway, it caused my to remember the teachers who stand out as being the most influential in training me, or making me the person I am today. They include:

Cathy Street, 11th grade English. She was not much older than we were, but taught us how to really write and use the English language. She was also known, on occasion, to stop in her yellow VW bug and give a ride to a student walking to school on a cold winter morning.

Lt. Col. Henry B. Edwards, US Army Retired, Military Science. What he taught (and exemplified) in his Principle of Leadership course, I have used all my life.

Ruth A. Mills, 10th grade geometery. A real life changer in my life. Three weeks into the class, I was flunking miserably. As she handed me back my weekly test, one that had a LOW "F" for its grade, she looked me fiercely in the eye and said, "Now you can do better than that!" I believed Mrs. Mills to be smart and honest, so I went home and did not get up from my desk until I had mastered the fundamentals of the material to that date. The next week, I made a 100 on the weekly test, and never made below a 96 on any weekly test or exam in that class for the rest of the year. Later, Mrs. Mills wrote for me a nice recommendation that helped me get a scholarship to college to study engineering, and just a whole lot of how I've made my living for 36 years has been based on geometry I learned from Mrs. Mills.

Pictured below at the reunion are me and my two favorite science teachers from high school, or anywhere else for that matter. They were the ones who started me in a career of science. The lady on the left is Sandy Buhler, who taught me 11th grade chemistry (and yes, she really is old enough to have been my high school chemistry teacher). What she taught in how to analytically solve a problem, I have used throughout college and throughout my career. She was also a good and understanding friend.

The teacher on the right is Edna Hatcher, 10th grade biology, and the best teacher of all time. Teen age years are tough enough without having to endure the social stresses of high school. Miss Hatcher's class was always a place of refuge in the midst of the school day. As well as being an excellent conveyor of the scientific principles of life, which I loved learning, she refused to tolerate any of the high school caste system in her classroom. She treated all students the same, regardless of their social standing, and insisted that we do the same. Guess what - we did, and it made for a very nice class. Words fail to express the Christian influence she was on me at a turbulent time in my life. I'm glad I got to tell her so last weekend.

I am probably forgetting or failing to mention other great teachers in my life. Whoever they are, they are in many ways responsible (in the good sense) for the person I am today. My thanks to them all.

A Reunion With Class

October 8 & 9, Spartans from across the country and around the globe convened in Memphis, Tennessee, to celebrate the fact that we graduated together 40 years ago, and are still around to talk about it and remember it today. About 150 alumni and spouses gathered at a classmate's house on Friday evening, and then about 250 of the same got together for the big shindig on Saturday evening.

Saturday evening's party was on the 33rd floor of a tower near our alma mater and it was really nice. It started with a buffet dinner and a short program, then the alumni gathered at one side of the room for the group photo below. While assembling for the photo, we sang the school fight song with much gusto (remembering to stomp the right foot on the rah! rah! rah! part). There were about 150 alumi in the photo below, so don't bother trying to find anyone you know.

I guess this was the only part of the evening when things were still and somewhat quiet, because after that the dancing and singing started and went on past midnight. Memphis folks know how to sing, and somewhat how to dance.

Below is a picture of how the main entrance to my alma mater looks today, a sad shell of its former self. I guess looking at it must be like looking at the ruins of an ancient civilization. When we attended there, WSHS was the city powerhouse in terms of academics, football, and basketball. Today, I see from their website that their record is 2-5 to this point in the season. I hope their academics are still strong.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I got to reconnect and have some meaningful conversations with a lot of folks from long ago who are still really neat people today. I only regret it will be 5 or 10 years before, Lord willing, I get to see this group of people again.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Study in Orange and White

We had the two local grand girls for a while today. Go Vols!