Immortal Teachers....we have all had them





Immortal Teachers....we have all had them

by

L.T. Force, Ph.D.

I am watching with interest - all of the material being generated and distributed about how best to move forward from the COVID-19 Quarantine. In fact, i myself have created a few Blogs about it - and have even coined a term: “COVIDTIZED” ,i.e., being impacted by COVID-19 and the the quarantine that followed. But what comes out of this experience we have been through....and we are still going through? “Lessons” come out of it....”Lessons” that we all hope to learn from. But then I began to think is this the first time that “Lessons” mattered? And the answer is: "a resounding No! “Lessons” have always mattered".

Years ago, I attended the retirement party of my High School English Teacher - his name was Brother Michael Williams - an Irish Christian Brother. Bro. Williams, was a young man who had recently entered the Irish Christian Brothers Order. He was my English Teacher, the High School Basketball Coach and a good man. Over the years we stayed in touch. Brother Williams at one point left the Religious Order, married, had a son....and began to teach in another state. He called me and asked me if I would attend his retirement party and sit at his families table. What an honor and of course,

I attended.

At this retirement party, his friends and colleagues gave testimony to Mike Williams as a teacher and as a man. Some of comments were deep, and rich with emotion....and some were funny and comical. Mike Williams was a Master in the classroom and has a great sense of humor....so the exchange seemed fittingly. And then it was Mike’s turn to respond. He was great! He was gracious and humorous. And then he became serious and profound and he said: “You never forget a good teacher....a good teacher is immortal”. I was taken by that statement then - and I have continued to think about it over the years. Mike was right....”a good teacher is immortal....you never forget a good teacher”.

Think about that - the Teachers who have taught you “Lessons” across your lifetime. For sure, for me, Mike Williams is one of those teachers. Dr. Tom Smith, my undergraduate Psychology Professor. is another one of my: "Immortal Teachers". His formal name was: T.C.B. Smith. As students, we would (among ourselves) refer to him as: Take Care of Business Smith” - because that is what he did....he was brilliant....he was eccentric....he was deliberate in his actions and he was a compassionate man about his interests and dedicated to his students....who taught us many things about the field of Psychology and the field of life. Brother Arthur Walsh is another standout in my life. Although, he was not a classroom teacher of mine....I worked for Bro.Walsh when he was Dean of Students. This man was a: "giant in principles"....he was a giant in: “telling it like it is” and he was giant in: "showing others how to be genuine".

Could I go on in listing the”Immortal Teachers” within my life? Yes, I could - because as I think about it - there were other individuals throughout my life who have made such an impact....not only by their words....but by their presence... their actions....and the examples they provided in: "Life Lessons".

In writing this piece it has given me pause....pause to think about other people who have significantly touched my life. What a gift....to have rich memories of the powerful and subtle experiences that have had a lasting impact. To Mike Williams, Dr. T.C.B. Smith and Brother Arthur Walsh - Thank-you!

To others that I recall fondly....Thank-You! And to others.... who I haven’t met yet....but our experiences and exchanges will be positive and everlasting....Thank-You in advance!!!!


And as far as "Lessons" I now need to learn.... to deal with a: Post COVID-19 Quarantine World.

I realize now - I have already learned some of those “Lessons” and, in fact, many more from my: “Immortal Teachers”.....as they helped me across my life....open my books....as they helped me open my mind....as they helped me open my heart....and onward we go....with "Lessons Learned....".

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