What Made Some of My Teachers and Professors Great

My first, great teacher was our homeroom and shop teacher in junior high. That was largely because he went beyond his required duties to help several of us. He thought we could succeed with more advanced math and so he taught a group of us, separately, essentially for no pay. It’s never been my best subject, but I never forgot his generosity.

My second, great teacher was an extraordinary history professor visiting from University of Chicago. I was at Emory University, where, I was a history major. He had established a new motive for the western migration, an enthusiasm to develop major, American cities. If you think about the fanatics that root for the Kansas City Chiefs or the LA Lakers, you get his drift. We deeply care about our major cities blessed with big economies, much inventiveness, the arts and major sports. I never forgot and never disagreed with his original premise. I enjoyed that course as much as any I have taken. At this point two of my favorite, major cities are historic, the Baltimore of the 70s and the London of the 60s.

Finally I had an organic chemistry professor who exuded enthusiasm every day. I didn’t do as well in his class as in other science courses, but I have never forgotten his love for the subject and students he taught. It was simply unforgettable.

Those great teachers and professors may not have earned a fortune, but, I was fortunate that they crossed my path.