Put your Picture here Apr 1, 2005 4:50:25 GMT
Post by foxcole on Apr 1, 2005 4:50:25 GMT
When Ive perfected the technique and drunk a few more beers I might try one a little bit more normal!
middlepillar, I love your pic! It reminds me of my dad, although he dealt with a somewhat older audience. He was a parasitology professor in the veterinary college at Iowa State University, and was renowned for his occasionally creative approach to his lectures, but also for his uncompromising expectations of his students. No slush points for them. Either they knew their stuff or they didn't. They made the cut on each test, or they didn't.
But he had fun with them. My favorite story is his Valentine's Day caper.
He was administering a test that day, but the first five minutes of class were spent in distributing the tests and describing the rules. So, with his usual flair, he entered the classroom as Captain Valentine! (exclamation point part of the trademark), dressed in white boxer shorts patterned with red hearts, a white T-shirt, and a towel tied around his neck for a cape. Oh, and the requisite black socks and brown sandals.
I wish I could have been there! It seems he created quite a stir---but not so much as when he exited the classroom to change back into his civvies. Walking down the hall at that very moment were the college dean, the university president, and a visiting endowment donor!
He admitted later, a bit sheepishly, that he wasn't sure at that precise moment, even considering tenure, whether he still had a job!
But have one he did. There is now an annual lecture dedicated to him (prehumously? he is hale and healthy) about which I am very deeply touched and proud. I always knew he'd made a name for himself, when people all over the world were sending specimens to him for identification... a few of which turned out to be new species... and for the hundreds of holiday cards he receives each year from his closest ex-students. He befriended those kids, and they've all remained loyal.
What better tribute in life? And I've not said anything at all about my equally capable, though usually less overtly creative, mother. ESL teacher.
Each of my parents has made a significant mark in the world, each has contributed to education and the overall wellness and happiness of the people they've known. I, by comparison, grew up preferring the company of my pen and a blank sheet of paper. I am proud of and envy their individual achievements, but have no hope to come close. Even my siblings are strong in their professions.
But there's a difference in that I don't fit their mold, though we are a close family. My path is different, it always has been, and I do not choose to measure my success by theirs... although it's tempting. It also seems to be that every expression of Freemasonry suggests I should follow their example and become what they are.
It's not my role. I can't do that, and I certainly hope that no one expects me to (inclusive of my family). I am fully aware of many conditions of life, including the necessity for different roles, the need to accept others in their own colors, the uniqueness of my own color, and my social responsibilities... as well as, now, my Masonic promises which I hold dear, although am confused by one or two. (Clandestine? Is it possible for us to regard anyone as clandestine? Sure, I'm sure, there may be radically alternative orders, but to me even these hold merit and thus deserve respect.)