MIZMARILYN'S MISSIVES

MIZMARILYN'S MISSIVES... THE MANIACAL MUSINGS ON THE MEANDERINGS, MISADVENTURES, AND MISHAPS OF A MISGUIDED MISCREANT...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ode to Mr. Swingler... That's right, THE Richard Swingler!



Ok.. enough "Futzing" around, as my father used to say. I need to get back into blogging in preparation for THE TRIP, so here's a small tribute to one of my most favorite teachers, Mr. Swingler.

I've talked about him a bit before, but I was thinking about him for some reason the other day... maybe it's because I'm not teaching anymore and I miss the kidlets. I don't know.

He was the best kind of teacher. He was smart, interested, interesting, funny and thoroughly vested in what he did for a living. It was so much more than a science class.

I was a pretty good student until I got totally bored in High School. I had Mr. Swingler for my 8th grade science class (hence the rather limited picture, from my 1958 yearbook). He was one of the teachers who got kids fired up to ask questions.. to question the answers, and to always think. He had every kind of animal you can imagine in that classroom, from a 7 legged tarantula named Gertrude, to several 'loose' snakes. It was hard to be a squeamish kid in his class, as it simply wasn't allowed. I don't remember any kid being scared of anything in that class for more than the first week.

He talked a lot about science, but he talked a lot about life and how to approach it- open minded and full of curiosity . I credit him a great deal for parts of my independence. I wore a Q.A. button for years. You're going to have to ask me what that means if you are all too young to know (grin).

At one point in my varied career I sold appliances for Platt Music Company out of May Company department store (I never quite made the connection)...(remember when they called them 'department' stores?. A young man came in to apply for credit to buy something... his last name was Swingler, and when I commented on it, he told me that "Mr. Swingler" was his father. I asked if he still taught, and his son said "no, the kids changed too much".. I totally understood (this was the late 70's). It got me to thinking, though, and I found his father's number in the phone book and called him one night. Interrupted dinner, it turns out, but he insisted on talking anyway. I told him how much he meant to me, and he thanked me... He said, "by the way, it's my Birthday today"..

and sometimes you get it all just right...

8 Comments:

At 7:01 AM, Blogger Peebs said...

Hey, that guy looks familiar.
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Wolford. She caught me hanging around outside of her piano studio where she taught the "paying" students in grammar school. She brought me in one day and taught me about "middle C", and how to play a few notes. I'm forever thankful to her for showing an interest in me.
NOW, when are you leaving? :)
Where ya going first?

 
At 7:05 AM, Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Wow. Kismet.

 
At 10:51 AM, Anonymous CanalGal said...

I know what QA means. heh.
Can't wait to hear about your latest adventures!

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger bonho said...

I had a science teacher (biology) called Mr. Welcome. He looked like Sam the Eagle from the Muppets. He cut me some slack when I refused to dissect a frog or poke myself in the finger for doing the blood test (squeamish kid). But I loved his class, and never missed it. Science teachers and scientists in general have a remarkable love of life combined with a sense of humor. Your blogentry does nothing to dissuade me from that belief.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Peebs said...

Had to look up "Sam the Eagle"! *grin*

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger Infamous Angel said...

Yeah, bonho, I know what you mean. Luckily, since I was one of those 'experimental smart kids' in High school with a triple major and a lot of 'experimental classes', I never faced a dead frog or my own finger...

wait...

that doesn't look right... ;)

 
At 1:50 AM, Blogger bonho said...

I was an experimental kid too, but more along the lines of Twelve Monkeys as far as everyone but me was concerned. I've never majored in anything.

 
At 8:13 PM, Blogger Jhessenia Swingler said...

It's awesome to learn about family members from other people. Cause then a lot of things start to make more sense too haha! I wish I could've met my great grandfather.

 

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