Sunday, April 26, 2009

365/12 Mr.Calloway

I never knew his first name, Mr. Calloway was a teacher of mine in elementary school. I think he may even have only been a substitute teacher. He suffered from polio and he had one leg which was shorter than the other. He wore one shoe with a thick heel and walked with a limp. As a student I never ever thought of him as having any kind of deformity, or disability, rather I recall him as an imposing and a strict teacher.
I absolutely love school, but I don't know when this love started. I can't recall the day or the time when I just knew I loved school, loved reading or homework or getting good grades. Moving back to Rhodesia when I was young was very difficult because I was so far behind in school I must have had someone who worked with me to catch me up because I remember feeling very intimidated and overwhelmed with being behind the other kids. Something had to have changed in those first few years when we arrived back in Rhodesia to change my experience in school, because I was completely overwhelmed - I even cheated (tried to cheat?) on a times table exam and got caned for it when I was caught.
I don't remember a teacher who I would say made me fall in love with learning, but I have fond memories of many teachers. Mr. Calloway was strict. He walked with a cane, and if you put your nose too close to the desk as you were writing he would SLAM his leg up onto the desk with that great heavy boot and scare the daylights out of you.
Somehow I don't remember being scared of him - well, ok, just a LITTLE scared of him, but I was more captivated. He told the most excellent stories and it gave me a thrill to do things "right" and please him.
I am a real "traditionalist". I like order, respect, discipline, and consequences - ESPECIALLY at school. I think this all originates with Mr. Calloway. I would say he impacted me greatly in this area.

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