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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

883. Dr Thomas Bridges (1941-2005)

it's graduation time.
from time to time i find it an occasion to think about teachers who had great impact on my life.
and when i go there, like i did today, there is always one name that sits atop a rather small pile.
dr. thomas bridges.
he taught philosophy 101 at montclair state university.

more importantly he introduced me to thinking.

and while he probably would have preferred to be almost anywhere else but teaching an "intro" class to sleepy minds just trying to pick up three required credits of liberal arts, he carried on in painful fortitude and with great self-effacing wit.
and while i was so much more comfortable resolving triple variable differential equations, i willingly wrestled with sartre's play "no exit" and typed a required ten pages to answer the simple question, what did jean paul mean by "hell is other people".
and to think he had to read and grade thirty of these marvels.
it's a wonder he didn't hang himself by leaping off a stack of nietzsche's best.

anyway, i once wrote somewhere in this blog: "just when i think i have an answer to all this life stuff, i think some more and realize, i don’t have an answer, just a resting place."
that is what dr. bridges taught me and honestly, i'm a better person for it.

unfortunately he passed away four years ago.
too young for sure.
regrettably i never had a chance to thank him.
i feel bad about that.

do you have a favorite teacher?

4 comments:

Pam said...

Mr. Bridges knows you care. He's up there with the best of the best. I know.

I have a lot of favotite teachers. One stands out in my mind..Watson B. Duncan III. He made Shakespeare come alive. He was the best teacher I ever had, and was a true inspiration in my teaching career.

His door was always open as he touched many lives over his years at Palm Beach Junior College.

Thanks for this post, Bob.

itsmecissy said...

In high school, my English teacher Mr. Tim Osmer introduced me to Malcolm X and other such "radical" literature. Shakespeare also. I had the biggest crush on him. Later I heard he moved to Oregon and joined a commune. Somehow I can see him tending goats and making bread . . .

In college it was my Art & Design Professor, Mr. Ken Orrett. A whitehaired "Prof Dumbledore" type, with longish white hair, smoked like a chimney but taught me everything I know about good design. Introduced me to the art of mandala and Zen Buddhism. FAR OUT!

lightly said...

i had a teacher in grade 1 then grade 3 then again in high school.
best teacher i ever hate, i am have a very difficult time trying to find her, i owe her a big hug. i think with the amount of horse pucky she had to put up with me i owe her a whole damn vacation to anywhere she wants to go

Pam said...

oh oh lightly. You're the kind of student that make our jobs interesting.