Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Carroll Lee and Sia

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, May is going to be a focus on the women in my life. 

I read earlier that today is National Teacher Appreciation Day.  It really seems as though there is a "national day - week - month" for just about everything, doesn't it? I attended school in Richlands, Virginia from first grade until I graduated in 1977. 

My first grade teacher was Bess Buskill, second grade Kathleen Nolley, third grade Ann Jackson, fourth grade Janice Humphrey, fifth grade Edith Horton, sixth grade Claude Reedy and Nancy Kimball, seventh grade ... I do not remember exactly all the teachers from seventh through twelfth. There were 5 or 6 instructors each year. I always enjoyed school, and other than admonitions about talking too much from time to time was really never in very much trouble. I guess I was pretty social, participating in clubs and organizations when able. I did not play sports, and physical education was definitely my least favorite part of public school. PhysEd was no longer a requirement after my sophomore year in high school, and I was not saddened in the least to leave that behind me. 

I never actually had Carroll Lee Wolfe as a teacher. She taught English at Richlands High School. However, her daughter Leesa was one of my best friends all the way through school, and thier house was within eyesight of mine. Leesa and I were in many classes together throughout school, and spent a great deal of time with one another both at school and in our free time. So I guess you could say Carroll Lee was my favorite non-teacher. Her presence in my life definitely had an impact, and while she could be stern, I always liked and respected her. The photo you see here was taken this year for her birthday. I am not sure how old she is, though I would think in the same age range as my own mother who was 83 in January.  

Aspasia Bishara was my French teacher for four years, In this photo you can see her with a group of foreign language students that performed a compilation of songs and dances attired in various culturally appropriate clothing. I am on the back row, far left. Sia is standing on the far right. She speaks seven languages, was born in Greece, married an Egyptian, and emigrated to America when her engineer husband came here to work. She was such a strong influence in my life. She helped all of us see that the people are people, and that tolerance and understanding can and should be a path for peace and cooperation. She educated us, in so many ways. About foods, religion, war, the need to continually expand your worldview, the vital part humor plays in living a meaningful life. To the best of my knowledge, she still lives in the area. 

Being an educator is  a scared calling. 

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