“Teach Me” was played on May 17, 2010, and I had to share four adjectives about the teacher who inspired me. Not any specific inspiration or the most inspiration, but just inspired. Looking back, it doesn’t really seem fair with the teacher I selected, because I only had him (I think) for the last two years of high school, making my memory of him incredibly fresh. As fresh as can be at least, because I’ve pretty much forgotten/shrugged off the bulk of my schooling years. And everything else now that I think about it.
It sort of goes like this: I’ve joked many times with people around me I haven’t started living (or even being alive) till 2005, but that’s the god honest truth. Yeah, I’ll blasphemy “god” just to get my point across, whatever. Years before that and especially my schooling years, I just went through the motions that people asked of me. That’s pretty much what the world taught me through those years: to only do what I’m told. There was no teaching me of the concept of freedom, and I made sure I did what I was told rather than have any individuality. I followed the letter so much I at times became the Rules Lawyer against other students who were disruptive or did things to challenge the teachers.
And the joke about all those students? They were doing exactly what society wanted of them, which was to have a free and challenging spirit in order to work and survive in a world that didn’t give two cents about them. Sure they got in trouble with the administration from time to time, but they were actually trying to be real people and not sheep. This is why plenty of people have pushed me to go to College back then (and still do), because it’s a more open sandbox environment in comparison to regular schooling, where everyone has their rules and they only care about making sure you at least pass. I declined, however, feeling I had enough of being told what to do, and as long as I wasn’t legally bound to go I didn’t have to. Sorta regret this choice, but I’m sure it was for the best because I would have failed within the first semester with the mentality I was brought up with. And I’ll be damned if I do it now, given I can’t even afford my life, but as it goes.
When I finally got out of the grind that was school without any proper direction at what I was supposed to do with myself, it took three plus years before I was able to grasp a direction in my life. And we’re not talking about goals, but the basics: income to support my life, shelter to keep me safe, and a social network I not only wanted but wanted me. The realization I was nothing more than a basement dweller in the family home with no understanding of the world was a kick to the junk, but it was needed lest I shriveled up and died. Since then I’ve learned to take control of my fate and began to learn what exactly it takes to live and learn, literally becoming a whole new person with little to no connection with my previous self.
Due to this and the fact I pretty much just existed as a kid, I never properly connected all the memories of my childhood together into anything cohesive. Going through the motions and sitting in class after class with plenty of people know who knew who I was for whatever reason, yet they meant nothing to me because I was just doing what someone asked of me. May sound cruel, but we honestly didn’t have anything to do with each other, and I’ve only kept a few connections from those years. Everyone else was merely a facade of association, making all such memories just empty strands of thought. I’m coming up on the ten year class reunion in 2012, and I really have to wonder what’s the point of seeing a bunch of strangers I supposedly “knew” from school.
So when I think on the fact I choose this teacher for the Akoha mission, I have to really wonder if I’m being fair to all the other teachers who tried to steer me in the right direction, yet I was too jaded with the process of living through school to even care or remember them. All the same, this teacher helped in his own way. But enough background, onto what I wrote…
Young, quirky, cheerful, fresh
A new teacher of the English wing in high school. Shared some good times with him, though I wish something more could have come from it all. Take what you can and move forward.
That’s a pretty good summary of him. He had a charisma which showed his youth and drive to educate us. I never had him as a direct English teacher, but he was one of the leaders in a social arts/media club and the school newspaper. And all this talk about freedom that wasn’t being taught to me through all of schooling? It could be summed up through those two things. The club usually lasted an hour or two, and we brought in art, music, etc. based around certain topics. We even had a Summer trip to Chicago to see museums, eat food of different cultures and appreciate the wonder that was Blue Man Group before it became mainstream (feels that way at least). It was the start of opening my mind to new things, and sharing the absurdity that was my own.
And the newspaper…what’s to say about it? It was held at the end of the day, and near the end of school I pretty much napped through everything. Given that we had privileges akin to a college student, I used that freedom to simply take naps before school ended. No joke, this fact was promptly displayed in a year end comic showcasing the whole newspaper staff. A horrid regret on my part, but a good lesson in understanding what I needed to do with myself in circumstances of an absence of direction (lesson only realized years later, mind you). That’s not to say the teacher I’m speaking of did poorly, because he tried, even so far as to tell me to drop the newspaper because it was ruining my GPA. All the same, I was too far lost to fully grasp the freedom I had, and it’s a right shame it went down as it did.
While he might not have been the most influential teacher through my forgotten years, he’s certainly one of the last I remember, because he was a part of the things which showed me life was more than doing what people told you to do. For that he’s a teacher to be applauded, because teaching to take a hold of your freedom and driving to understand the world is the number one goal for all teachers. That I could have had it back then, and not play catchup the rest of my existence. As it goes.