I've had my head filled by the words and thoughts of so many others. Specifically those who have been given the roll of packing it with information they deemed Academically Necessary (regardless of whether I agreed with them or not). Who are these multiple ushers that have been loading me with their personalized brands of wisdoms? why Teachers of course. So I'm taking this time to bid them one last a'due and reflect back on my academic career.
Elementary school: An 11 year stint consisting of four hours of Jewish studies in the morning and four hours of standard all-american curriculum in the afternoon. A strange statistic that all the girls in my grade would turn out to become extremely orthodox and all the boys completely secular which really always makes me wonder what they were teaching those girls.
One teacher of note:
Rabbi Litt (Hebrew studies 4th - 8th grade) - a short, musically gifted violinist, with a terrible caffein addiction and occasionally off-the-handle stern policies. The man would drink something like thirteen cups of Coffee a day and pace back and forth across the room, write something with a violent rapid motion on the board, go back to pacing and then scratch is his back, intensely, on the corner of a wall. Recess was awaited anxiously by pretty much everyone.
Highschool: I was none too excited when I entered into the backwater clutches of Liberty High. I weighed in at maybe 90 pounds and stood about 4'9 upon inception. It took me a little while to adjust but eventually I would grow (I'm now 5'8 or so) to amass a large group of close friends and form what some might construe as meaningful relationships with many of the teachers there
"Big" Ernie Feasel (10th grade history/government) - A very large, globe-like, individual with a heart warming laugh and welcoming smile and a very cynical, carefree manner. He enforced a strict Free-Speech policy in his class-room which made his class interesting, unsettling, argumentative and occasionally dangerous.
Ed Helbig ( 11th grade history)- More or less uninteresting in every respect. I never paid much attention to the class or the homework but I generally made up for it with high test scores. At the end of the year I inexplicably had a 59 for my final term average and I was unable to contact him (he'd been fired) and he wouldn't return my calls. Finally I reached him mid summer using a different phone number only to have him call me a "Weasel" and that I "Brought the whole class down" and then he hung up the phone. Never really understood that one.
Mr. Trizinsky (11th and 12th grade english) - A veritable madman and my personal favorite. A big white bearded man who hobbled around the hallways with a suitcase in hand wearing big square glasses and some sort of woodland-patterned wool sweater. He would grade his students with grades like F++++++++, he would squirt the class with water and kick the garbage can relentlessly. His main mode of communication was non-verbal grunts and slow angry hand gestures. I always thought of him as large polar bear who somehow stumbled into an english classroom and wasn't quite sure what he was doing there.
College: I don't recall learning that much in college, though I sure had a good time (see post below). There were a few teachers though, who I will not soon forget.
Carol Bankerd (design 1) - I don't think I understood one word this woman said. Most of it had to do with the "juxtaposition!" of "curvilinear!" and "orthogonal!" and every sentence was punctuated the words "Right Yes!". The women struck me as out of her mind and the class made me nauseous.. or maybe that was the night before.
John J. Rais (Master Class - Metal) - a visiting artist in his mid thirties who taught blacksmithing. John would go out to dinner with us after every almost every class and tell us stories of his delinquent teen years (fuckin' great stories). John remains a good friend and is one of the finest artists I know.
Phil Listengart (Bronze Casting, et al.) - No words could possibly do justice in describing how fantastic of a teacher Phil Listengart actually is. The man teems with knowledge, which he imbues passionately into the minds of his devoted students. I worked directly under Phil as one of his assistants and would regularly stay in the shop until three or four in the morning preparing molds and mold materials for his bronze casting class. Anything phil said, goes.
There were many other teachers that I've had, who I've really liked, but they just weren't crazy enough to make the grade. To those I give an emphatic B+ just as they usually gave me.