If it wasn’t for my high school teachers Mrs. Gulde, Mr. Blair and Mrs. Perin, I might think that Chekov was only a starship pilot on “Star Trek,” Seymour Glass was the name of an Indiana glazier, and Romeo and Juliet was only a movie that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Clair Danes.
School’s out (although aren’t we all life-long learners?). I think back to my favorite teachers in high school and I recall the three teachers I perhaps learned the most from, while enjoying their teaching.
Mrs. Karmen Gulde exposed me to world literature, including stories by the Russian author Anton Chekov and the Norwegian author Henrick Ibson. The collection of short stories by the reclusive author J.D. Salinger was taught by Mr. Lester Blair (including “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” featuring Seymour Glass, the oldest brother in Salinger’s Glass family stories). Mrs. Martha Perin brushed up our Shakespeare with perhaps the Bard’s most-read play.
Mrs. Perin attempted to interest her students, as well, by typing out the lyrics to “Jesus Christ Superstar” and the Who’s “Tommy” and displaying the words on an overhead projector while the class discussed them. Mr. Blair taught literature with a sense of humor and tried to instill in his students an intellectual curiosity. Mrs. Gulde perhaps had the toughest subject matter in trying to motivate her students to take an interest in world literature. My friends and I liked to tease Mrs. Gulde and call her by her first name. We even visited her at her home a few times, which she was kind enough to begrudgingly accept.
Other of my classmates may have different favorite teachers (I never had Mr. Hodge for a class, but I’m sure I would have enjoyed his teaching style). While some teachers seemed to just be coasting by and not seeming to care much about their classes, others like Mrs. Gulde, Mr. Blair and Mrs. Perin upheld a high standard in teaching. The world lost Mrs. Perin much too soon. Her son, Keith, followed in her footsteps and currently teaches at Rushville High School, and from what I hear, is as beloved by his students as his mother was.
I once heard a motivational speaker comment that it only takes the influence of one individual to help another succeed in life, and this person is usually from the field of education. One of the most caring and giving professions is that of a teacher. To be a teacher must be one of the most meaningful jobs an individual can have.