My favourite teacher left school today. He was covering for our French teacher while she was on maternity leave, and not only taught us French but constantly threw little golden nuggets of advice at us too.
He had a quick witty sense of humour, and could make the class at a moments notice. He taught us French vocabulary by linking it to its Greek, Latin and English equivalents, and by quoting plays such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ” (His favourite line from that was, “Show them the euphemism, darling,” in reference to the bathroom)
He also liked to halt irrelevant “what if” questions by telling us the Winnie the Pooh story about the tree, where Piglet (worried as ever) asks Pooh, “what if that tree fell on you?” and Pooh replies, “What if it didn’t?”
He also drip fed us information about his personal life: he was an English, French and German teacher. He had spent a year in Germany, and had worked on a construction site here for quite a while. He owned a cat, liked astrophysics, and knew his cars. He loved film, and was in the middle of showing us “Entre Les Murs” when his term finished today.
While waiting for music after school today, I bumped into him in the Home Ec room when we were making tea. The few of us doing music started talking to him, and he asked us what composer we were doing at the moment. When we said Mozart, his reply was, “Piano Concerto number 23 in A major?”
We then found out he plays classical guitar, violin and piano, and has an uncanny knowledge of both the leaving cert music course and of the Royal Irish Academy set pieces.
In his honour, I shall continue to drive my “linguistic Ferrari” around ostentatiously.