This week I spent close to ten dollars on Sharpie pens. How do I justify the purchase? I don’t. Back to School shopping is for irrational choices. Remember those especially colourful Lisa Frank backpacks and pencil bags? Remember how much you spent on them? I’m going to bet you have no idea because your parents bought them, but they did it because Back to School shopping is an out of body experience. I don’t understand why it is invigorating to purchase fresh No. 2 pencils — the same pencils hated for the next 9 months as they snap, become dull, lose their erasers, and generally disappoint. The supplies are used up and then students thank their lucky stars during the summer months when hands no longer write. The truth is, Back to School shopping means a fresh start. Last year, the fad may have been gel pens, but this year, new identities are formed through the colour of a three ring binder.
Then the question becomes: why do students change in a year’s time as physical resources run dry and wear out? Experiences mature. From kindergarten to dissertation defenses, identities change and are formed by the instructors at the front of the classroom. Throughout the year, minds are shaped by teachers, professors, instructors, and counsellors alike — they shape our maturity and identity as they bestow new information into our minds and hearts. Many instructors have walked in and out of my life over the past 17 years of education, but the knowledge remains. Some of subjects are forgotten, but others ignite a passion for devouring more information.
For five years of my education, I was homebound due to severe asthma. I developed close relationships with the instructors that came to my home, but I also discovered a new teacher. I realize how sad this sounds, but one of my favourite teachers was on the television. I gripe about technology frequently, but this grey haired man had been a part of my life since childhood and I am grateful for his on and off presence on my TV over the years. He developed my love for film by introducing the films on Turner Classic Movies. Robert Osborne taught me everything I wanted to know about stars, films, theatres, and studios. I am a film student today because of his influence in my life and if he had a tangible classroom, I’d be in the front row.
I have been called a browner, suck-up, and a teacher’s pet… I proudly wear this title. Teachers, in the classroom or elsewhere, give one of the greatest gifts of all. So, for the next three blogs, I will be looking at three films about teachers and their influence on students’ lives. I feel the subject is appropriate as we all develop the habit of sitting at the same desk… even if the habit is unnecessary. Who is your favourite teacher in the movies?