"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

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’m thinking parallel lines never meet.  And then the intersecting lines, plotting points.

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

“teachers who have been able to produce shafts of light,illuminating the darkness…to communicate their love of learning and enlist their students in what they consider the glorious lifelong adventure of learning.” 




28 responses

  1. connie

    Such a beautiful collection of photos and a lovely remembrance of a man who touched many lives.


    November 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm

  2. Lois I. Greenberg

    Your tribute to Mr. Swanger stirs memories in so many of us, I’m sure, whose path was markably directed or corrected in times gone by. To be remembered with such passion and respect is honor, indeed. aHow blest you ae to have had him in your life.
    So when we remark on the unusually attentive, caring, creative teacher known as Mrs. Hendricks, we must add ”she didn’t get it from strangers.”
    Love, Lois


    November 2, 2012 at 11:37 pm

  3. I’d like to think all teachers leave some little “mark” on their students.. some larger than life teachers can create a huge effect. This was a wonderful tribute to a master teacher.


    November 3, 2012 at 1:21 am

    • Thanks Smidge. He was a master for sure.


      November 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm

  4. A wonderful post, Ruth. I enjoyed both the photo and the stories!


    November 3, 2012 at 3:06 am

  5. I was trying to remember who taught me geometry at high school. I can’t remember the teacher, but I do remember the value of pi and the square on the hypotenuse, so they must have done a good job. Thanks!


    November 3, 2012 at 3:09 am

    • Hypotenuse is a terrific word. Thanks for writing today.


      November 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm

  6. Love the ferris wheel – legs in the air!!


    November 3, 2012 at 6:02 am

    • That ride is called the Black Widow and I am not planning to ride it. Ever. But I love photographing such things.


      November 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

  7. Your selection of photos and tribute are wonderful.



    November 3, 2012 at 6:32 am

  8. First you got me with the math teacher tribute. Photo-wise, you had me with the bees. Geometric perfection in nature.


    November 3, 2012 at 6:43 am

    • Geometric perfection it is. Amazing bees! Thanks for stopping by today and writing a nice comment.


      November 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm

  9. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry « patriciaddrury

  10. Sue Reinfeld

    I love those pictures, especially the incline at night. I wonder if any of my students ever think of me. Hmmmm


    November 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

  11. I love the floor-to-ceiling geometry of the first pic, and the beautiful repeating pattern of the last.


    November 3, 2012 at 9:51 am

  12. Toni

    Outstanding response to the photo challenge – in so many ways!! Love it!!


    November 3, 2012 at 9:53 am

  13. Thanks for sharing such great photos – love the variety. Those busy bees make me want to get to work!


    November 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    • The honeycomb is amazing, you are right.


      November 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm

  14. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry | Wind Against Current

  15. Nice versatile interpretations- lovely, especially like the Incline. I used to ride it frequently when I was a child.


    November 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    • I bet it hasn’t changed very much since then! Come visit and ride again.


      November 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm

  16. How fortunate of you to have a gifted teacher like Mr. Swanger. May his influence continue to grow…
    Great response to the challenge, too, Ruth.


    November 3, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    • Thanks for your good words on the blog today, John. I liked this week’s challenge.


      November 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm

  17. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry (4) « What's (in) the picture?

  18. Teachers good or bad affect our lives in more ways than we know. Beautiful interpretation Ruth!


    November 6, 2012 at 8:35 am

Always good to hear from you.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s