Squirl's Nest

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My Favorite Teacher

Mrtl's Monday writing assignments are interesting. I did the one on love and now this one is on one's favorite teacher. I saw it first on Susie's site.

My favorite teacher was Joyce Haggard. She was my sophomore English teacher. She encouraged my writing habits and I thank her for that. She was no more than five feet tall at the most but she had so much energy. I believe she was from the Boston area. I loved her accent.

We read interesting books in her class and did much writing. My favorite was when I could write short stories. I did book reports and biography reports as necessary but fiction was my favorite.

She also told us about the ghosts in her house in Boston; unsettling but they were also very fun. She taught us self-hypnosis, too. The two subjects she chose were losing weight and getting to sleep. I had no weight problem back then at all but I did have trouble going to sleep. I still use that technique even though I'm not as practiced at it as I was.

Mrs. Haggard had a lovely home in the same town as my school. She would have her students over the day of exams for coffee and doughnuts. There were no other teachers that I ever had that were like her.

I took every class she taught. I couldn't get enough of her. Then my father was considering taking a job in New Jersey just before my senior year. The Haggards offered to allow me to live there so I could still graduate from that school. The job didn't pan out and both Mrs. Haggard and I felt a little let down that I didn't get to stay there.

Then about five or six years after I graduated my mother read in the paper that Mr. Haggard, Mrs. Haggard, their son and daughter and their son's friend were going on a trip together. A drunk driver crossed center line and killed everyone except the son's friend. Some kind of family karma going there, I guess. I cried. Then I prayed for them. At least they were still together as a family.

Thank you, Mrs. Haggard. I hope you're enjoying yourself where ever you are.

15 comments

Blogger Susie said...

Oh, Squirl. I'm so sorry. She sounds really special. I'm glad you were blessed to have her. She obviously felt blessed to have you, to be willing to share her home with you. I've had a couple of people do that for me. It is a sacred thing, I think.

Tue Jun 21, 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger SierraBella said...

What a wonderful woman!
So sad to hear of such a tragic ending, but I agree "At least they were still together as a family."

Tue Jun 21, 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Mrs. Haggard was so cool. I remember her daughter (Stephanie?) who looked kinda like Mason Reese from the Underwood deviled ham commercials. I know the whole family was at our house on more than one occasion, for parties and stuff.

And I believe I may have been the one who delivered the bad news to you. Truly an awful day.

Tue Jun 21, 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

That is so sad. What a terrible blow. How great that you got to take many of her classes. She sounds wonderful.

Tue Jun 21, 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Darn it, you made me read a happy/sad post! Why do you folks insist on doing that!?!?!

(Thank you for sharing, most find teachers...well...not pleasant.)

Tue Jun 21, 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger greatwhitebear said...

really great post! I think that one of lifes geat experiences is having that rare teacher who truly influences your outllokk on life. I was lucky enough to have one, but not until college!

Tue Jun 21, 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

Darnit Squirl! You always have this way of making me smile in the morning. I think I told you about my favorite counselor in high school - the one that died right after my senior year? I shall have to blog it.

Wed Jun 22, 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Squirl said...

Susie, she was special. I cared for her a lot. You're right about the sacted thing.

Sierrabella, yes, I think that if they had to die at least it was all together. No one left to grieve and cope.

More answers soon. Have to go now.

Wed Jun 22, 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Squirl said...

Bucky, she did look like Mason Reese. :-) You probably did end up being the one to tell me. That's never easy.

Kranki, she was a wonderful teacher and a wonderful human being. A lot of students liked her.

Mr B, oops, sorry. She really was cool. Believe me, I didn't like all my teachers that well. She earned our respect, though.

GreatWhite, thanks. It was easy to write about her as she was a wonderful subject. I'm sure she influenced my writing skills.

Kitty, I'm not rememberin the counselor story. You'll have to tell it.

Wed Jun 22, 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Li'l Squirl, that was quite a tribute. I'm happy she encouraged you to write -- that's working to my advantage now that I get to read your work! The ripples from one good teacher's life, even one unthinkably shortened like Mrs. Haggard's, extend out so far. It really is amazing.

Wed Jun 22, 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Squirl said...

Eclectic, thank you and I'm glad that you like to read my writing. She definitely influenced me. She is missed but part of her lives on as long as her former students continue to write.

Wed Jun 22, 08:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

What a lovely tribute to Mrs. Haggard.

I'm sad to hear that she is gone. She would've liked reading your blog, I think.

Thu Jun 23, 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I think she woulda loved the fact that you correct people with as much love and respect as you.

It's so cool learning about the people that have made you the Squirl you are today!

Thu Jun 23, 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Kitty said...

...as her. crap.

grammatize this.

Thu Jun 23, 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Squirl said...

Danielle, thank you. Yes, I'm sure she'd like to know that any of her former students were still writing, regardless of the form.

Kitty, thanks!

Fri Jun 24, 03:37:00 PM  

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