I'd love to say James Bond is just like me, but then they'd put me in a rubber room. So I've chosen movies where there was a character like mine. Not always the hero. I'm more the extra or side kick, except in the classroom. There I was the king of my domain.
My all time favorite movie is Friendly Persuasion. It's about a family of Quakers trying to keep their beliefs in a world that challenges them at every turn. The major tenet is non-violence. Can they stay true to their faith when attacked by Confederate raiders. Growing up I sided with Josh. The son who struggles on whether to fight or stay passive. I faced the same dilemma when it came time for the lottery for Vietnam. Do I go or flee. There were no more deferments. My number was 76. I was given 1H status. I was on hold. They drafted to 75. Any emergency my freshman year in college and I was called up. The peace treaty was signed in the Spring of 73 and I was off the hook. I would have been inducted. By the grace of God I wasn't.
Later in life as I've watched this movie hundreds of times, I came to realize to my shame I wasn't like Gary Cooper as Jess Birdwell. I was like Friend Purdy. Friend Purdy was the one who always claimed how nothing could induce him to violence, but when attacked he tells Jess he has to fight. What's right for Purdy has to be right for everyone else. I find myself being like that. And fight that tendency.
Another movie I found myself identifying with a character is John Denver is Oh, God. Denver was so believable as someone struggling with his faith in God, even when he's manifested to him. It's taken a lifetime of belief and faith and still I struggle.
I was a public school teacher for 27 years. I didn't think much of any TV show or movie about teachers or teaching. Dead Poet's Society and Mona Lisa Smile. They praise the non-conformist teacher coming in to shake things up, but then either get fired or drop out after a year.
A true teacher sucks it up and stays for the long haul. Sidney Poitier in To Sir with Love. One year's success does not translate to the next year, but he's there for the long haul.
The one movie that struck a chord with me the most was Mr. Hollands Opus. In the movie he teaches a troubled kid to play the drums and few years later he's going to the boy's funeral killed in Vietnam. It took 18 months after we invaded Afghanistan for one of my former students to come back in a body bag.
I have a former student spending the rest of his life in prison for murder. I have another who is Secretary of State for New Mexico and running for the U. S. senate. You get a wide range of students over the years. Some you reach and some you don't.