24 April 2020


One day, in our fourth grade classroom, Mrs. Wheat announced that her diamond ring had disappeared and that she would pay a 25¢ reward to any of her students who found it.  Needless to say, we all spent a good number of days with our eyes on the ground, not concentrating too much on what she might have been trying to teach us; 25¢ was big money back then!  But we did get through the school year.  The good/bad news was that the ring had been found, but by Mrs. Wheat herself, in her driveway after the snow melted, so our 25¢ dreams went up in smoke.

Miss Dildine, who would within a year become Mrs. Harrison, instilled in me a love for poetry.  She was a teacher of English, which included grammar, punctuation, pronunciation, enunciation and reading the classics aloud.  The first few weeks of high school were a bewildering experience for me, but I found some semblance of order in her class.  She opened my eyes to the wondrous world of literature, and I am forever grateful for that.

Ethics is an interesting subject, and one of my college professors brought the subject directly to us one day.  It was during the reign of McCarthyism and loyalty oaths.  About three months into the semester, our professor came into the room and announced that our class was dismissed for the semester as he had been fired.  He refused to sign the loyalty oath, not because he was a Communist, or even a Communist sympathizer, but because he believed the requirement to sign was not ethical.  Lesson learned.

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