"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher appreciation week--the great ones

Someone told me once, probably a teacher, if you had five great teachers in your life, you were fortunate. Don't know about that, because I'm still learning, and will leave out several.
I can count nine, and thus I'm more than  blessed.
  • Barbara Radovich, high school speech teacher at Highland High School in Albuquerque, N.M.,who taught me more about myself, now that I think about it, and gave me the confidence to stand up and speak and lead--probably the most important and influential teacher in my life.
  • Don Green, Oklahoma Christian College, who taught American political thought and constitution law...teaching me to reason, think critically, and to see the long perspective of history.
  • Frank Finney, Central State College, Oklahoma (now UCO where I teach)--who taught a course in Whitman and me how to interpret, enjoy and write about literature.
  • Henry Africa, who ran the Linotype school at the University of Iowa, and showed me there's more to journalism than technology, and more to education than a degree.
  • Callaway Buckley, executive editor of  The Duncan Banner, who took a young journalist and made an editor and better journalist of him, with scathing criticism and confidence and praise.
  • Donald J. Morrison, partner and publisher of The Waurika News-Democrat, who infused me with a love for community journalism, and how to not only put a paper out, but with what it means to the readers.
  • Charles Fleming, colleague at OSU, and chair of my doctoral committee, whose organization and complete opposite of teaching style,  helped me get my "union card" to higher ed, and taught me to always honor the birthday of the U.S. Marines. Vietnam's Agent Orange claimed him a few years later, but I know many fellow students in whose lives he still lives.
  • Harry Heath--at OSU, my last mentor, and friend, a giant who forgot more about journalism than I know, but whose confidence and example nurtured and propelled me to where I am today.
  • I've left out the name of my first grade teacher, long ago, in Fort Worth. I don't know what she did, nor remember her first name, but Mrs. Gaylee must have been terrific.

1 comment:

  1. I plum missed the fact that it is National Teacher Day. Teachers are awesome. I'm maybe going to write a post tomorrow about mine. My first grade teacher was Miss Julia Randall. I got her in 1960 in her 48th year of a 56 year career. She never saw a situation that a good slap across the face couldn't take care of. You talk about shell shocked bunch of first graders. That was us about 15 minutes into the first day.

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