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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Wednesday TTT

Today's challenge was difficult. I don't normally read about  short, fat, balding, old men. I prefer to imagine myself looking like Harrison Ford or Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Brad Pit... Get the idea.
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.


Lydia said...

Mr. Holland's Opus was an amazing film.

How many of your students do you keep in contact with?

My <a href="https://lydiaschoch.com/wednesday-weekly-blogging-challenge-characters-who-remind-me-of-myself-and-why/”>post</a>.

P M Prescott said...

Lydia, I've been to a few fund raisers for Maggie over the years. It used to be I couldn't go anywhere without running into one, but since I've been retired now for over ten years not so much.

Aymee said...

I haven't thought about Oh God in years. It was one of my favorite movies as a kid.

Mr. Holland's Opus was fantastic. It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher and to stick it out for 27 years is something wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by earlier!

P M Prescott said...

Thanks for your kind words, Aymee.

Mary Morgan said...

"Mr. Hollands Opus" was a great film. Teachers are my heroes, especially those who continue to go back year after year into the classroom. Thanks for sharing. :)

P M Prescott said...

Your comments are appreciated, Mary.

Berthold Gambrel said...

I bet you are a James Bon or Batman like guy, and are just using the mild-mannered teacher alter ego as a cover. ;)

Seriously though; good list. I need to watch Friendly Persuasion.

Wendi Zwaduk and Megan Slayer said...

I can't listen to the theme from Mr Holland's Opus without getting a little choked up. We played it in band and a few years after, we had a band member (orchestra) who was killed in Afghanistan. Plus, I taught school for a while, too. Yep, I get it. :-)

P M Prescott said...

Berthold, you really do.

P M Prescott said...

Megan, I'm glad you do.

Dixie Jackson said...

Mr. Holland's Opus is one of my favorite movies of all time. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your student. With a husband who spent 30 years on active duty, I really feel for your loss. I absolutely applaud anyone who teaches. It's one of the toughest jobs out there and takes a special person to stick with it for the long haul. Thank you for sharing today.

P M Prescott said...

Your thoughts are appreciated, Dixie

Cathryn Hein said...

Don't worry, Patrick. We all know that you're Robert Redford on the inside.
So sad about your students but as you say, some you reach, some you don't. And I am sure there are many, many bright. successful people out there because of you.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Ok wow, I don’t know you very well of course but all these are believable.

Right now I feel like Jack Nicholson’s character in “About Schmidit.” I am going to be retired in six weeks and I don’t feel that I have made much impact the last several years. Oh well, it will be nice to be done with it

P M Prescott said...

Thanks for your kind words, Cathryn.

P M Prescott said...

Yogi, soon you'll wonder why you're so busy. Have a good retirement.