Every year at this time I get a bit sentimental………This makes my third year of starting back to school with out Curt. Last week I brought Curt along with me while I was going to work in my classroom. As I was finishing up I asked Curt if he wanted to walk down and see his old classroom. He said, “not really, I don’t know where it is.” I suggested we just walk down his old hallway, just for the heck of it. He complied and as we walked together, he turned to me with this little glimmer of familiarity and said, “this is my place” and then as we continued down the hallway he walked right up to the door of his old classroom. HIS old classroom, the place where he spent 15 years teaching HS students.
Curt loved his job! He would always be so excited as the lazy days of summer began to wane and the leaves in our woods began to fall, knowing the first day of school would soon be here! I on the other hand would shudder and complain about going back, he would smile and remind me, that we should be thankful for the jobs God has given us! :) I still complained……….
He would get up early that first week of school and be there by 6 am each day. He wanted to have time to get work done when there were no students around. He would say, “after school time is not time to get work done, that is time to help students.” He would often come home late from school after hanging out after school talking to students, helping with assignments, or just giving advice. I would often have to call him at school and say, “DINNER IS READY can you please come home!!” I would get so mad…….now I would give anything for him to arrive home late for dinner.
Curt being a cheerleader and a trooper on a Father/Daughter night for the cheerleaders, this girl’s dad couldn’t be there so she asked her fav teacher to fill in.
He cared for his students, he worked hard to get them involved in each class, he engaged students with his witty sense of humor, and taught with a passion.
He was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Oct. 1st 2010, I remember I was making a quick stop at a local store for some much needed school clothes the next day. The clerk who checked me out noticed my last name and asked if my husband taught at our local high school. When I said I was his wife, she gushed on and on about how he was her favorite teacher, and even though she didn’t like World History she loved his class!
I didn’t have the heart to tell her about his diagnosis and thanked her and went in the car and cried!
Yes this time of year I reflect so much upon Curt’s teaching days. Just the other day we were out at a local restaurant and when the waitress brought our check, she smiled at us and said, “A former student paid for your check tonight!” That was not the first time that has happened, it happened another time at a local Applebee’s restaurant.
1998 Yearbook Picture of this nice married couple that taught at the same high school
One man’s life does matter, and it does impact others. I know, it sounds like a scene from It’s a Wonderful Life.
Curt was always a fan of Oswald Chambers, I found this quote in one of Curt’s books recently
“We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life – those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength.” ~Oswald Chambers
Yes Curt lived in the ordinary things of everyday life and in those ordinary, daily moments he worked hard to live a life that would always honor God, and reflect a life lived with passion and integrity.
I am thankful for the model he served to me to live that life.
It is with that inspiration that I start my school year this year!