As I entered the building I looked back.
Saw the reflection of dawn in the high school windows. Lifted my phone up and shot the scene.
for Mr. Swanger……
The weekly prompt suggested a tight crop, an abstract, perhaps some architectural lines of buildings. Hmmm. Here is my series in response to geometry.
I loved geometry and the love of it came from the teacher whom I remember so well this evening as I write this post: Geometry.
I’m thinking of one of the best teachers I ever had- Mr. Swanger, in Morristown High School, New Jersey. I’m sure you have memorable teachers whom you remember, too.
Did a quick search and found this wonderful tribute in the Morris Educational Foundation publication.
Here is an excerpt and a link to the information about Saul Swanger Fellowship for New Teachers
“its purpose is “to encourage effective, innovative new teachers to pursue a lifetime of excellence in public education through the award of professional development fellowships, which help them to explore a professional passion, to pursue a course of study and/or undertake activities which would not otherwise be possible.”
The Legacy of Saul S. Swanger
Whether it was flipping the chalk over his shoulder onto the top rim of the blackboard, his tests with humorous problems about Stanislaus and his incorrigible younger brother Whatalouse, the sweet smell of his pipe smoke, or the warmth with which he embraced all of his students, Saul Swanger is remembered fondly by many generations of MHS alumni.
Mr. Swanger began his teaching career in 1938, teaching English, Ancient History, American History, Sociology, Latin, Spanish, Algebra, and Geometry in a schoolhouse in Claytonia, Nebraska, which was home to students in grades K-12. He came to MHS in 1944 and remained for forty years, thirty of them as Chairman of the Math Department. Immediately prior to his retirement in 1984, the MHS Honor Society changed its name to the Saul S. Swanger Chapter of the National Honor Society.
When asked about his proudest moments, Mr. Swanger said, “Because I continue to live in the same town where I taught, hardly a week goes by without my meeting a former student whom I taught (or whose children or grandchildren I taught), usually to exchange warm and often humorous memories. At times like these, I remember the words of Henry Adams:
‘A teacher affects infinity. He can never tell where his influence stops.’”
In a speech before the Middle States Evaluating Committee, which was reviewing the continued accreditation of MHS, Mr. Swanger spoke of young teachers as “noble and radiant with hope for the future.” He went on to speak of
It’s been closed a few years now.
Well, the yellow sign says RELOCATED but that was temporary.
It’s gone now.
When I drive by this building it feels sad. When I drove by today it was raining and I saw the For Sale sign out front. If you want to see a magnificent aerial view of the building and where to send your bid to buy it, click here
I went to high school in Morristown, NJ so it isn’t my Alma Mater, but the empty building evokes a sense of loss.
There’s whole list of notable alumni but here’s a link to a photo of Andy Warhol’s homeroom class 1944-1945
It’s hard to keep this friend anonymous since her name is on the cake. In chocolate letters!
Ellen is a blog follower and I hope she doesn’t mind….
Colleagues, family and friends gathered together to honor Ellen today. Effusive praise and accolades aren’t what Ellen would wish for but let me just say – there are thousands of students who have benefitted from having been taught by her in her classroom.
I didn’t see the smiley face on the cake until I looked at the photos.
Jean-Marc Chatellier baked this and decorated it so beautifully. It tasted delicious, too.
(You remember the colorful macarons?)
Enjoy your retirement Ellen. You deserve every happiness! A job well done.
Last week I had told an 8th grade student how I appreciated her showing empathy to me.
But then I asked her, do you know what empathy means?
She said she didn’t think she did. Not sympathy. So I wrote it on a piece of paper for her to look up in a dictionary later on as we were downstairs.
Later she brought me this dictionary. She told me empathy wasn’t in it. What? Let me see that.
I took it from her and looked and stared.
She was absolutely right!
It has emotion, but not empathy.
I think empathy is an important quality to possess and needs to be taught as well.
My sister read the sign on the building as we were driving back and forth from La’s and James’ home. Next time she handed me the camera and I pulled over and shot the facade. I went to read about what it meant by informal school. The building reminds me of growing up. Someone has restored the building for sure. Click Here for info about the school.
School. Ditto machines and drinking in the smell of the purple sheets and filmstrip projectors. Who remembers?