Friday, July 27, 2007

Skip Prosser

Skip Prosser died yesterday. It came as a shock to me to read he died of a heart attack after jogging, at just 56.

And, most of you are saying, who in the heck was Skip Prosser, and what does he have to do with books. I know who he was, but I wasn't in his world to know who he
really was.

Then I read an article by Dan Wetzel, a columnist. Wetzel pointed out that Skip Prosser was a reader, "long biographies, history, philosophy and politics." And, he said every conversation he ever had with him began with him asking what he was reading. And, he was a teacher. The kind of teacher anyone would want to have, or have for their children. The kind of teacher that made students study about Europe before going on a class trip. A reader and teacher to be admired.

Did you have one of those teachers in your life? I went to a Catholic elementary school, but the two women who influenced me the most when it came to reading were lay teachers. One made us memorize poetry, and, to this day, my sisters and I can still recite some of those poems. One gave me the opportunity to read books that I enjoyed but might never have picked up on my own. And, I looked forward to every one of those times when we read the books as a class.

I had three wonderful English teachers in high school, and over thirty years later, I still occasionally write to two of them. And, I did write to thank one of those men for how he influenced me. I learned to write, and read better, from all three of those teachers.

So, did you have a teacher that challenged you to read? Did you have a Skip Prosser in your life?

Oh, and Skip Prosser? He was the men's basketball coach at Wake Forest.


Cornelia Read said...

I had an astonishingly good English teacher in ninth grade at Carmel High School. His name was Frederick "Buzz" Rainer, and he died far too young about a month ago. He inspired several generations of kids to become avid readers and impassioned writers. He will be missed.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Cornelia. And, if you're any example, he did inspire impassioned writers.