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Characters who influenced us

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lewist
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Characters who influenced us

#1 Post by lewist » February 8th, 2008, 7:59 am

The gingerbread house belonged to the Patties. Geordie Pattie ran an anarchic garage where you could go and repair your own car if you wanted to. You could use his tools (if you could find the right one) and he would take time to advise and help when you got into difficulty.
I just posted the above in the Countdown thread. It occurred to me that we must have all known people in the past for whom we hold affectionate memories as influences or educators. These important people live on in our memory, in the lasting influence they had on us and in what we pass on to out own children.

Let's celebrate these wonderful people here!

Maria - If you feel this is the wrong place, please move the thread!
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Alan C.
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#2 Post by Alan C. » February 8th, 2008, 1:00 pm

Johnny Mc'Coss my geography teacher, who gave up most of his weekends to take a group of us
fell walking and youth hosteling, something I've continued to do all my life. (well not the youth hosteling) but certainly the fellwalking.
He was also an excellent teacher.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Maria Mac
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#3 Post by Maria Mac » February 8th, 2008, 11:35 pm

I've racked my brains and I'm afraid I can't think of a single such person in my life. Any teachers I remember influenced me in a negative way and there's been nobody else.

Lord Muck oGentry
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#4 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » February 9th, 2008, 12:48 am

Maria, you may have been unlucky in your teachers.

I recall a teacher who invited criticism from his pupils, and was taxed by one of my classmates with teaching a " useless" subject. He replied: some knowledge is worth having just because it gets you something else, and some is worth having just because it does not. There's sophistry in there- as he gleefully pointed out in the discussion that followed- and there is also a useful distinction.
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

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Alan H
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#5 Post by Alan H » February 9th, 2008, 1:16 am

I'm sure we all wish we had teachers like that!
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1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
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jaywhat
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#6 Post by jaywhat » February 9th, 2008, 7:12 am

Cliff Edwards, a teacher but not mine. I started teaching in London in 1962 and he was a teacher of 'Social Education' - general stuff for the roughest of the rough that no one-else could control. He was emergency trained (one year) after the war. I could go on, but just a couple of things - he would call the register then send his class to assembly while he had a quick shave with the razor he left in the loo.
He always took groups away to the authority's residential 'camps' and I went too. Midnight hikes in the Devil's Punchbowl with these big tough kids scared to bits - and the 'phantom bum-clutcher' about to jump out on them. You could never do it now! They loved him and they worked for him - so did I.

para handy
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#7 Post by para handy » February 10th, 2008, 6:13 pm

I can't say I remember any of my school teachers very fondly but the piano teacher I went to on a Tuesday evening for ten years was certainly a character and I think he did have positive influence on me. He was colourful, eccentric, open-minded and passionate about what he did. He was totally different from anyone else I knew.

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Alan H
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#8 Post by Alan H » February 10th, 2008, 6:55 pm

para handy wrote:I can't say I remember any of my school teachers very fondly but the piano teacher I went to on a Tuesday evening for ten years was certainly a character and I think he did have positive influence on me. He was colourful, eccentric, open-minded and passionate about what he did. He was totally different from anyone else I knew.
My music teacher at Primary School, well...shall we say he liked children a lot [---][/---] little boys anyway [---][/---] and disappeared immediately after a police investigation...He never touched me, but I was completely naive at the time (I was probably about 10 at the time) and it wasn't until many years later that I realised what had happened.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Ninny
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#9 Post by Ninny » February 11th, 2008, 1:38 pm

For me it was a girl in my class at primary school, so I must have been ten or eleven. She told me all about the Labour Party and equality and all that stuff. I had only been exposed to fascism up to then, so it was a revelation. I still love her after all these years, wherever she is!

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Oxfordrocks
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#10 Post by Oxfordrocks » February 11th, 2008, 11:48 pm

My Dad.
hello

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xman
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#11 Post by xman » February 16th, 2008, 7:27 pm

Keith Muldoon, Phil Morgan and JP Morrison were all gentlemen who helped to open my young eyes to the wonders of life and encouraged my performance abilities. I think of them often, but the person from whom I have taken the most in terms of human compassion would have to be my maternal Grandmother, Sarah Entwistle nee Church who took special care and attention to develop all my aptitudes which she saw as having greater potential than her own. She has been gone from life for nearly 12 years, but I carry her through my life every day.

X
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fullerwiser
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#12 Post by fullerwiser » February 29th, 2008, 5:50 pm

My 8th-grade history teacher was a HUGE influence on me. For one thing, he was a nerd, as was I. But he had a lot of fight in him, and cut the smart-asses in that class down to size with withering wit.

One day he announced that we were going to all sit according to eye color. After rearranging the desks in those groups, he then announced that the blue eyes would take a short quiz, which upon completion would earn them an A. The brown eyes would take a longer quiz, and couldn't make above a B. The green eyes had to write a report, and would make a C if they were lucky. And so on in that vein.

You clever people have likely spotted the intent of this exercise, but I was unlucky enough to attend a school full of complete idiots. Several of the green eyes, followed in quick succession by the brown eyes, made an unholy racket about unfairness that lasted most of the class period.

The teacher kept a completely straight face throughout, and seemed confused by their objections. The clues could hardly have been clearer as to what was up, since our next chapter was on the civil rights struggle. Only at the end of the hour did he deliver the punchline, and by then, everyone was so angry that it didn't quite sink in until the next day. The exercise seems simple, but was rather poignant in a school filled primarily with white students in a southern state.

That Christmas break, the same teacher got our local U.S. Congressman to sponsor a field trip to Washington, D.C., which remains one of my brightest memories of junior high. We spent a week touring the capitol, and even got a wave from President Reagan while his motorcade was leaving the White House. My interest in history and politics was given a gigantic steroid shot by that trip.

I'd love to track my old teacher down again one day and see how and what he's doing. Last I heard he'd left teaching to work for the above-mentioned congressman in D.C., but that representative retired a few years ago.

Thanks, Mr. H.

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Alan C.
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#13 Post by Alan C. » February 29th, 2008, 8:28 pm

fullerwiser.
One day he announced that we were going to all sit according to eye color. After rearranging the desks in those groups, he then announced that the blue eyes would take a short quiz, which upon completion would earn them an A. The brown eyes would take a longer quiz, and couldn't make above a B. The green eyes had to write a report, and would make a C if they were lucky. And so on in that vein.
I watched a video a while ago about a female teacher who used that same technique, I think it was in the 70s, she used to visit many different schools and used quite a few variations of the one you cite, the results she achieved were astounding.
I wish I could remember her name, I would track down the video (not least because I'd like to watch it again) I may have posted it on this forum actually, I'll see if I can find it.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Lifelinking
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#14 Post by Lifelinking » February 29th, 2008, 8:36 pm

Jane Elliott

there are some links about her work on this thread http://www.thinkhumanism.com/phpBB3/vie ... f=15&t=372
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Alan C.
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#15 Post by Alan C. » February 29th, 2008, 11:31 pm

Me
I may have posted it on this forum actually, I'll see if I can find it.
Sorry L, I thought it was something I had found and posted, I'm embarrassed now :redface: But thanks for re-posting the links, I will watch it again though, brilliant stuff.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

lewist
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#16 Post by lewist » March 5th, 2008, 10:24 pm

How about getting away from teachers? There must be lots of other people in our lives who influenced us in all sorts of ways!
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

fullerwiser
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#17 Post by fullerwiser » March 5th, 2008, 11:01 pm

lewist wrote:How about getting away from teachers? There must be lots of other people in our lives who influenced us in all sorts of ways!
I had an excellent boss about 12 years ago who really opened my eyes to a lot of the crap that gets taught in Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs. He had such a degree himself, but got it only after he had run his own business for a few years. He recognized a lot of the fallacies and loudly pointed out when someone put them forward in a meeting. The guy was awesome, but unfortunately suffered a heart attack in the parking lot, fell on the pavement and got a severe concussion. The combo left him largely a vegetable, and I still miss him a lot.

Thanks to him, my radar for MBA bullshit is highly tuned, and has ferreted out many a buzzword-spouting nitwit over the years. That sort of sense is increasingly rare in a world where MBA's are proliferating like A.Q. Khan weapons blueprints. A good manager is hard to find, and I'm glad I got at least one in my adult life. A lot of people don't.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#18 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » March 5th, 2008, 11:03 pm

Alan C. wrote:I watched a video a while ago about a female teacher who used that same technique, I think it was in the 70s, she used to visit many different schools and used quite a few variations of the one you cite, the results she achieved were astounding.
I wish I could remember her name, I would track down the video (not least because I'd like to watch it again) I may have posted it on this forum actually, I'll see if I can find it.
Her name was Jane Elliott, and she was a teacher in Riceville, Iowa, when she first used the technique. It was in 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King's assassination.

Emma

Lucretius
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#19 Post by Lucretius » March 6th, 2008, 1:28 am

Does Carl Sagan count?
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

lewist
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Re: Characters who influenced us

#20 Post by lewist » March 6th, 2008, 10:32 pm

Lucretius wrote:Does Carl Sagan count?
Why not? Tell us about it!

At the other end of the scale I learned in my youth the value of every individual and the job they do. My father had a friend called Davey who was a bin man. Dad called him one of nature's gentlemen.

One of Davey's hobbies was poaching pheasants. No, he was not a chef but rather went out hunting them. He had a wee stove in his garden shed and an antique bullet mould (for musket balls, you know) and he collected any lead they got at his place of work and made little lead bullets. Then he went out at night with a headlight strapped to his forehead and used a catapult to shoot them out of the trees. The miracle is he did actually sometimes get one. I think he saw it as a challenge to rise to. It was also very quiet.

Some people might have disparaged Davey for the job he did but I could see the value of it and in addition I was just so impressed - not to mention inspired - by the tenacious way he went about that little illegal hobby of his.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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