...remember to jump back up!
I often tell stories about my high school German (2 years) and English (Senior year) teacher, Mrs. Hollinger. Or Frau Hollinger. Or, as she wrote it Frollinger, with an oomlaut over the "o." (If you didn't take German, sorry for the confusion.)
Frau Hollinger was also our church pianist when I was growing up. My dad was the (volunteer) music director. The sweet-spirited little lady who lived with a broken heart after her grown daughter went into a years-long coma was a total intimidator in the classroom.
She gave us our report cards with the letter grade written neatly in the appropriate box and our numerical average -- rounded to the nearest tenth -- written in tiny (and totally legible) numbers in the corner next to it. Not because of her friendship with my family, but because of her motivational skills, she may have been the best teacher I ever had. (Except Cathy, who "rules the rooster." But thats another story.)
As a young pastor, I was invited to speak at a special service taking place in the church where I grew up. I wanted to do a good job, being the returning local kid. Of all the people there that night, I especially wanted to impress one. You guessed it!
It wasn't that I wanted her to think well of me as much as wanting Frau Hollinger to know that I had learned -- really learned -- from her.
During a fellowship time after the service, I was excited for her feedback. She said I had done a good job -- yayyy -- then she got that certain look in her eyes. "Uh-oh," I thought, "Here it comes!"
"Samuel," she said, using the German pronunciation of my name. "The past tense of drag is dragged." My eyes got big. "Did I really say 'drug?'" She replied in the affirmative and quoted my exact words.
Poor Frau Hollinger. She taught me for two years of high school. She coached me numerous times as a kid and a young adult. In all that time she hadn't dragged that bad habit out of me.
Now every time I hear someone make that mistake, I think of her. I hope she notices from heaven!
What teacher most influenced you? Why?