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Teachers I Wish to Thank (by Kelly A. Seiler Borsheim)
So many people have contributed to my education. Some by what they did and some by what they did not do in certain situations. Some people I knew very well (such as my parents and other family members) and some I just passed on the street and never even met.
I'd like to dedicate this Web page to the people that were my teachers in the more formal sense of the word. And let other people know how much I appreciate them.
I know there have been others and there will be more, but this is a good start.
- Mr. "Chubby" Fulton gave me music. I met him in the fifth grade at Fred Wild Elementary in Sebring, Florida. Not only did he teach me how to read music and play the flute, he started me on the path to being a teacher myself. When I moved on to Middle School, Mr. Fulton let me go with him to the elementary schools to tutor other young flute players. I spent a lot of time with him, learning about self-disclipline and working hard and about being on a team. Even after I left the middle school to start the ninth grade, we kept in touch. He gave so much to so many children.
- Mr. Kent, my eighth-grade algebra teacher. He asked our class once whether we liked "The Muppet Show" or not. We all pretty much said we loved it--especially the old men in the balcony. He then confided, "I asked my 'dummy' math class that and they said they were 'too mature' to watch baby shows." Good for a laugh and a lesson in observation. (He also pointed out that a well-crafted children's show was appealling to adults. It does a child no good to "talk down" to him.)
- Mrs. Brand, my eighth-grade English teacher. She made us write in our journal for 20 minutes at the beginning of every class. She didn't care what we wrote about (and promised confidentiality), she just wanted us to get comfortable writing.
- Mrs. Steiner, my ninth-grade English teacher. She was proud of her age (78 back then) and had so much spunk, I couldn't help but admire her.
- Mr. Clarence Phillips:
During my trig class, my friend Karen Black and I sat on the back row and talked all the time. One day we were particularly rude and annoying and Mr. Phillips asked us to leave his class. (It was especially embarrassing since we got kicked out with a couple that was always bickering at each other. To be more [or as] annoying as them was humiliating.) Later, I went to apologize to Mr. Phillips and I remember his answer was something to the effect of, "Just because I didn't like what you DID, does not mean I don't like YOU." A nice distinction and a valuable lesson.
- 10th Grade: Algebra II
- 11th Grade: Trigonometry and Chemistry
- 12th Grade: Physics and Calculus
During my senior year, as it turned out, band was held during the same (6th) period as Calculus. I tried to quit the band, but my band director talked me out of it. Instead, Mr. Phillips was kind enough to spend extra time with me after school to teach me Calculus on the days I was not in rehearsal or at work.
- Mrs. Connie Talbott (and her always-smiling husband Bob): Mrs. Talbott taught me how to type (to music even!) I will forever be in her debt. She and her husband Mr. Talbott, a shop teacher at Sebring High, were such a cheerful, positive influence and pure joy to be around.
- Ms. Elizabeth Walker and the gang at Toastmasters (Sebring, Florida; 1982): Without their help, this shy kid would never have made it through the speech I had to give at my high school graduation. Miss Walker spent an extra 2 hours with me that very morning coaching me in her home after having marked up my speech with lots of smiley faces to remind me to relax and notes about when to pause and breathe.
- Dr. (D.) Hazelwood, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. He was the first person who actually spoke to me as I wandered through the mathematics building as a new freshman. I signed up for his number theory class immediately and loved that he taught mathematical concepts with a smile on his face.
- Dr. Robert Waltz, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. I had heard he was one of the toughest English teachers on campus. So I signed up for his Shakespeare class. What a thrill! I took as many of his classes as I could. I still have the copy of the sonogram of his granddaughter that he gave to me. He was so proud. And he never once mentioned his illness that I only discovered by accident some time after I graduated in a newspaper article about a dialysis program. I miss him.
- Lisa Klayman, Austin Fine Arts School, Austin, Texas. In 1992 Lisa taught me how to see and how to recreate what I see on paper and then canvas. She guided me through my first life-drawing session. Lisa gave me the foundation upon which my entire artistic future is built.
- Jon Formo (1923-1999), Elisabet Ney Sculpture Conservatory, Austin, Texas. I met Jon when I took my second sculpture class in January 1995. Jon reminded me to have faith in myself and not limit my own potential. Like the others on this page, his spirit cannot be matched.
- Jim Thomas, sculptor, Jonestown, Texas. Jim has always been so open to sharing things with me about the sculpture processes themselves and the business of art.
- Jack White, artist and writer. Jack markets his wife Mikki Senkarik's work successfully and has helped me learn some of those skills, too. Check out his art marketing book!