The person who has had the most profound impact on my life was a teacher. He is now battling stage four cancer and so many students who were touched by him are reaching out.
I was terribly shy in High School, my parents marriage was breaking up, it remains an ugly and profoundly sad period of my life. I was an at risk kid, but I had a special teacher who encouraged me.
This is what I wrote on his Facebook page:
As I was driving to work, I was thinking of the many lessons I learned in your class. I finally realized that the most important gift a teacher can provide is not knowledge or even wisdom, it is confidence. In reading the many posts of former students, I was struck by the love and shared belief that you profoundly changed the course of our lives because of the confidence you instilled in each of us.
Mr Carr, I was a shy, insecure, teenager when I met you. Now at 54, I can attest that my life has been full. I graduated college and law school including winning the scholarship for outstanding oral advocate;), tried cases, saved lives, won awards, written laws, presided over, prosecuted, and defended thousands of cases, served as a Special Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court, and attended two National Democratic Conventions. I am married to a special woman, and the father of two wonderful young men. I have great friends who I love beyond words and have work that gives my life meaning.
I may not have achieved all my dreams but if anyone would have told me when I started Riverview-this was my future-I would have laughed and then cowered in fear. From a terrified teen whose shaking hands caused the papers to rustle so loud that other kids looked away in embarrassment with my first speech to a lawyer who values inappropriate ties, cufflinks, loud socks, humor and kindness over all other human attributes.
Your teaching showed us what we could be…..if we but tried. The love flowing to you now is only surpassed by the realization of how many lives you forever altered. Ron we love you, for the most basic of reasons, you showed your love and faith in us first.
My most prized possession are his words in my yearbook….can you even imagine what kind of teacher-what kind of person he must be to write something this kind to a struggling young man. It has been 35 years and it still chokes me up. To my beloved friend and teacher: