Monday, March 19, 2012

When I saw his name on the program....

When I saw his name on the program, I just about jumped out my chair to catch a glimpse of him.   Ben Skardon.  My favorite teacher.  EVER.   I could have just stayed seated.   After all - it was 25 years since I was a student at Clemson.   It would be awkward.   He certainly won't remember me.   How old would he be now?  90's for sure.  

But.....I told you in my first post.    The "c" word has a way of changing you.   It was about ten minutes before the program that night would begin.  I had time.   And there he was.    Across the room.    He hadn't changed one bit.     There was no way I was going to miss the chance.  

I walked straight for him with my hand outstretched.     " don't remember me, but I just wanted you to were the best teacher I ever had.... I signed up for every class that you taught....including a speech class I never thought I would survive.  I was painfully shy - but you had a way of encouraging me that made me feel I could do it.  I've never forgotten you.   I just wanted you to know that."

He seemed genuinely pleased.    And while he probably "stretched" it quite a bit to say that he thought he did remember me, it didn't matter if he did or not.    I got to see Ben Skardon again - after all those years....and I got to tell him what he meant to me.      I don't waste those opportunities anymore.   They don't always come again.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kathy!! LOVE THE BLOG!! This reminds me of a teacher Brian & I both had in 9th grade named Mr. Sullivan. He was a GENIUS in U.S. History. I couldn't take notes fast enough in his class. I learned more in his class than most others I ever had - even though he was SO strict, wore black suits on test days, dyed his hair jet black and gave the most difficult tests ever...very intimidating! If you scored a 40 on his tests, it was often a "B". (I should know! :)He had to curve his grades so much. Anyway, 18 years later, one Sunday morning (when Brian and I were members of a wonderful church near Dallas) I walked in the sanctuary, and there, sitting on a pew at the back, was Mr. Sullivan. He still had his jet-black hair! Little did we know he was the dad of Bryan Sullivan, our friend there at church! Bryan's daughter was getting baptized that morning. I went to talk to him and never knew 100% if he remembered me, but I always felt "honored" if you will that I had him as a teacher...which might seem odd, but I really appreciated his passion, knowledge and pushing me to learn about our country. Hope all is well in beautiful S.C. & miss you - Carrie S.