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View Diary: What do I MAKE? I'm a teacher and I make a goddamn difference. Now what about you??? (292 comments)

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  •  I missed this guy? (18+ / 0-)

    He's fabulous! Break it DOWN, brother! Break it down for their asses!

    Ok, I calm down now.

    I loved my 3rd grade teacher first and then I loved them all. I wrote a diary about Mrs. Lewis and never mentioned my father.

    He's the first college educated person from either side of my family. He died in his home he was renting with two other roomates because nobody, not even substitute teachers living "high on the hog" in NYC can live alone and be able to afford it. Nobody who knew my father would say he was a rich man or even doing alright. He lived in the Shaolin projects in SI that Wu-Tang rapped about. He lived there many years with his 2nd wife until they split and he graduated to a storefront apartment, confined to mostly two rooms. During this tumultuous time, he went back to college for a master's in education, but died before he could really begin to put it to use.

    He was rich in wisdom and community respect. Everybody knew "Brother Teacher". I never met any of Wu-Tang as much as I've been to Stapleton. My father knew them all. He used to get driven to Nicks games in Ol Dirty Bastard's limo. He used to try to talk sense into young Method Man. His best buddy and ex roommate was the mother of Ghostface Killer. All the kids my age around Stapleton knew him. I like to think that me growing up in Ohio and being away from him so much didn't matter. In the end, he told me I was more like him in certain ways than any of his kids. I was proud of that.

    My mother is still jealous of the awe I had for a man who wasn't related to me naturally but had married my mother when I was 6 months old. My second cousin would instigate. "You know he's her idol". He finally told me before he died; "You used to watch my every move when you were a baby and a little girl."

    He was the only person in my family that seemed like a person I should watch and seriously imitate behaviorally. The rest of them were only good for vague political steering to the left. My father was insanely patriarchal at times and really religious whereas I'm a feminist and atheist. Same exact zeal and passion, though.

    All he ever wanted to be was a teacher and a family man. He did so much more than that. I don't think he ever believed he would end up being a community icon. His old town and high school upstate retired his basketball jersey and had a separate memorial for him. He was the best thing that town ever produced and famous beyond my imagination. I haven't been to that town since kidergarten but I was totally not shocked at their admiration of him. I was just a baby and couldn't keep my eyes off him.

    And he was just a teacher who died a poor man. He made things that no machine can produce. He made me. I was the 2nd to go to college. In September, my son will be the 3rd. We started a legacy.

    "Warm smell of Moulitsas rising up in the air..." -seanwright

    by GenXangster on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:09:38 PM PDT

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