Stop Goofing Around On The Internet And Go Thank Your Old Teachers. Now.

Not actually my teacher

I had a horrible physics teacher in high school.

I was reminded of him when I visited my parents;  they only remembered that I skipped class a lot.  How would they know – and why would they believe – that a teacher would literally read the textbook to high school students?

But surrounding the painful memories of his droning voice were the memories of another teacher.

Mrs. Conway.  Her class wasn’t easy, but she made it interesting.  She told you why and how and made the rote “experiments” you routinely do in those classes fascinating.  All while drinking nothing more than hot water in her mug.

I’ve had the opportunity to thank some of the other teachers I had.  I wrote a letter to Mrs. Klishis, who patiently put up with me not dealing well with peer pressure and constantly underachieving, and still believed in me.  I happened to run into Mr Hohmann outside of a convenience store;  his foam mace and ascerbic style left me still entranced with genre fiction, but primed me for when I encountered Tobias Wolff and Barbara Kingsolver and Tim O’Brien.

And today, while the thought was fresh in my mind, I reached out and left a message for Mrs. Conway about how awesome she was, and how much of a positive impact she had on me… even if I was too much of a self-centered jerk to recognize it at the time.

And I’m not done.  I’ve already tried to find Mr. Taft;  maybe if Facebook doesn’t bury my message too far in his “Other” folder, he’ll see it and not think I’m a spambot.  And there will be more.

Now it’s your turn. 

Quit goofing off on your phone, and think of that teacher1 who made a positive difference in your life… even if you, like me, didn’t realize it at the time.

And use this freaking amazing contraption to do something more than look at cat photos.  Call, message, write a letter, send a friend request.

Let them know they made a difference.

Let them know you remember.

Say thank you.

1 Professor, mentor, drill sergeant. The title doesn’t matter.

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