Wednesday, May 05, 2021


May 5, 2020, this was posted on facebook. I was tagged. I'll share my responses.

There's only a couple of teachers that I can say influenced me in a good way. My 7th grade English teacher Sandra Dodd was an amazing teacher. Mr. Albert Fernandez wasn't my teacher but he was a teacher at my school and he was also amazing. Thank you both for giving me confidence 😊😊
That was written by she-who-was Tracey Perraglio. That's for identification without outing her by her current name. Hometown friends will know; that's fine.

I wrote:
Thank you. 🙂
It was so long ago, and it's nice to hear there are good memories and that confidence was part of the effect! GOOD!

I was Sandra Gill then, probably, or Adams (part of my first year). I have lots of fond memories of those days, too.

I learned a lot, teaching.

I learned a lot teaching where I went to school, and having former teachers as co-workers! 🙂
She responded:
You went by Gill back then. You were a great teacher and always had a smile and encouraged us 🙂 You did good 🙂
I'll name some of my own favorites.

Sally Gonzales (4th, and I helped in her classroom a time or two a week, one year when I was in high school, as a "future teachers" project. I kept up with her after I left school, up until my own daughter was 9 years old, and Holly and I visited her for a few hours at a restaurant and then her house.)

R.A. Martinez (8th and 9th grade English; actually 9th grade twice—long story, but most of what I know about punctuation and word choices came from him and from Sally Gonzales, and that's some of what I passed on, with their voices in my head, when I taught English.)

Robert Felix (band grades 5-9, choir 7-8)

Sam Jamison (choir in high school; I made all-state once)

Jacquie Littlejohn (English in high school)

That is the order I met them, AND the order of their value to my life. They treated me like a person, more than "just a kid." When they knew that I really wanted to learn, they shared what they had, and what they loved. They all gave me information and ideas above and beyond what they "had to" do.

Others I remember warmly for one reason or another:
Mr. Cipriano Trujillo (6th grade)
Mrs. Bency (I don't even know her given name 🙂, 2nd)
Miss Tomlinson (1st)
Mr. Lujan (French, two years, and sponsored a class they let me design, on current events, one six-week session)

That's the end of what was written in 2020. Now I'm off on my own, 5/5/21:

The class Mr. Lujan sponsored but didn't teach was "History '69." Each student gave a presentation on something from current events, and led a discussion. That year, the electives were switched every six weeks, and I LOVED that year for that! I wish they had kept it, but the scheduling must've been difficult.

From Sam Jamison (my choir teacher), during that experiment in lots-of-little-electives, I took a humanities class. He was the first to help me see that everything is connected—science, art, technology, communications... That has been the way my mind has worked since then, and I'm grateful for having had that opening at the age of fifteen.

I don't remember the other four I took.

Miss Bency provided the ivy, and I still have some, thanks to a string of relatives passing it on, and eventually back. Now my daughter, Holly, is the main caretaker. I'm down to one plant here, and for many years I had none.

Miss Bency is here, and most of my 2nd grade class. Click it to enlarge.

I'm the first on the bottom row. My mom always managed to do something bizarre with my hair for photo day.

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