08/15/13

Do right because it is right …………….and Mr. Higgins

Back to school sales, back to school clothes,  back to school lists, back to school shots, back to school supplies.

 

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What time is it?        It’s ……………………………………………

 

“Back to School Time.”

 

My school days are way behind me. ………. “ sigh”

 

However, memories of those days are still very much  “ in the now” for me when I think of back to school time.

 

One of the most memorable thoughts of seventh grade, involve the only male teacher I ever had.

 

When I was in middle school, Mr. Higgins was my homeroom ,  math and English teacher.

 

 

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He must have been close to retirement age when I was in his class or so it seemed to me. When you’re young, all adults seem ancient don’t they?

 

Mr. Higgins was a no nonsense teacher, very serious minded and there to do his job to make sure we learned.

 

Although he was small in stature, even the biggest, toughest boys were no match for Mr. Higgins’s  insistence of classroom orderly conduct.

 

Both of my parents were hard working, but raising a large family put a strain on their budget.  With medical bills to pay that year for my sister, money was extremely tight.

That school year, I would be taking a sandwich for lunch instead of eating a hot meal in the cafeteria.  And some mornings, I just forgot to even make my sandwich for school.

Unbeknownst to me, Mr. Higgins had noticed that I had not been eating a proper lunch.  A few days into the school year, he took me aside and all he said was “You eat lunch today.” He said nothing else about it that day. Then the next day and the next day he said the same thing until it was just a given. I would be eating lunch everyday at his expense. This was before there were any programs to help those who couldn’t pay for lunch and my parents would have been too proud to apply anyway.

 

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At that time I was embarrassed to be taking a handout from Mr. Higgins.  His motive was pure and simple. He could have turned away and stuck to his duty of teaching, but his heart led him to do what he could for the well being of one of his students.

 

 

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He taught life lesson’s mingled in with math and English.  His favorite quote and the first time I ever heard it was “Do right because it is right.”

The life lessons he taught  that year have stayed with me and made a lasting impression. Although I moved out of state soon after leaving high school, I remember Mr. Higgins fondly and wonder if I ever thanked him not only for the lunches, but also for what he taught me about how to live  life.

  • It’s never all about you ..  look around … see who needs a kind word, a smile, a meal a helping hand or whatever you can do.
  • be thankful and grateful. Don’t forget to say “thank you” for the kindness others bestow on you.
  • doing the right thing may not be easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

 

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Is there a Mr. Higgins on your list of teachers?     

A  meaningful note of thanks will go a long way to make them feel appreciated.

To quote a teacher “The biggest thing a student can do is to say, thank you.”