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A hope note

Maybe I was a little odd, but I liked school. I don’t remember ever dreading the start of school.
I don’t remember any of our children dragging their feet on opening day ‘ ‘the whining schoolboy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school,’ Shakespeare’s snapshot of life’s second stage.
What I remember is wearing some new shoes on day one and sporting a new satchel and suntan. I don’t remember caring much which teacher I got, but I do remember hoping like crazy that my best friends and some of the pretty girls would be in my class.
What I value most about those school days, light years ago, is the poetry some of my teachers made me memorize. I hated doing the work, but I cherish what is now indelibly etched in my mind. I can still quote chunks of Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Cullen Bryant, Thomas Gray, Matthew Arnold and William Ernest Henley. How often their beautifully crafted lines have made my soul clap hands.
I think of what Merlin, in Terence H. White’s ‘The Once and Future King,’ said: ‘The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies; you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics. There is only one thing for it then ‘ to learn.’
‘Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.’
I’m with Merlin. Thanks, good teachers.

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