Teachers that made a difference — Mr. Drescher

Robert Drescher - 1970 SUHI

Teachers that influenced me — Robert Drescher/Chemistry

It is difficult to find dedicated teachers. You know what I mean. People who invest time in their students, and infuse life, with some of their exuberance.

Sadly, these series of tributes come too late. While my mind is still conscious, I will tell the tale, of how they transformed me.

Robert Drescher. Chemistry teacher at my local high school. I guess the first thing you notice about him, is his bow tie. He was unconventional from the beginning.

Mr. Drescher had a passion for trivia and obscure information. Each day we were greeted with some bit of trivia carefully crafted on the board. Chemistry may have been what he was teaching, but he also taught an appreciation for irrelevancy. So began my own quest for resolutely insignificant information.

His interest in weather, did not go un-noticed. We were always free to check the barometric pressure, on his ancient barometer. Yes, it had a column of mercury. Today, I collect rain data for cocorahs.org. (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network) I remember Mr. Drescher, with each bit of rain data I report.

Everything I know about Chemistry, atoms, and Quantum Mechanics, started here. He made Chemistry anything but mundane or ordinary. I was hooked. In my senior year, I took an independent study in Honours Chemistry. I was privileged to be with him a second year.

The one thing I will remember that has stuck with me all of my life, is something he called, “Dimensional analysis.” What’s that? I will use his own quote:

“If you are trying to compute miles per gallon, but instead end up with furlongs per fortnight, you have the wrong conversion formula.”

Yeah no kidding!

He never could quite pronounce my Italian last name. So I was called Mr. Gur. It worked.


Cranky Old Man

As some of you know, I will turn 60 in a few days. Someone sent this to me:

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!

(originally by Phyllis McCormack; adapted by Dave Griffith)

The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!

Street Musician in Bisbee, Arizona

Street Musician in Bisbee, Arizona

Street Musician in Bisbee, Arizona

I love the quaintness of Bisbee, Arizona. It seems that you enter a time warp when you visit. My friend Will and I were here in February, 2012, when I took this picture.

When was the last time you saw a street musician on your corner? There is a charm and a beauty here that too often, goes undetected.

The halcyon days of the old mining town have evaporated. Instead, you will find artists and artisans of every type.


How to opt-out of unwanted credit card offers

Tired of all the junk mail you get for credit card offers?

I had one company that actually sent me a credit card in the mail. All I had to do was call this number and activate it. NO! What would happen if someone stole my mail and activated the card, unbeknown to me?

Here is how to permanently opt-out!

NOTE: It DOES require SSN and DOB.

Permanent opt-out requires that you print and mail the form back to them! If you do NOT send the form, then the opt-out is good for 5 years.


Thot 4 the Day

Admittedly, I got this from our daily journey.

Love isn’t guaranteed to bring us happiness, but it is guaranteed to hurt. C. S. Lewis wrote: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.”

Love anyway. It’s worth the hurt.

— Mike Wittmer