Great teachers are rare; those who impact our lives, who keep us interested and engaged in a subject despite obstacles and adolescent angst.
One of the greats for me was Pat Higgins. Mr. Higgins taught woodshop, amongst other subjects, at Lewis and Clark High School. Although the woodshop is now gone and high school students learn little with their hands I am sure Pat Higgins still impacts kids lives. In fact he taught me how to use one of the first Kodak digital cameras with the 3.5" floppy disk and the first generation Photoshop Suite. He was a bit of renaissance man, he had a little knowledge about everything and was generally ahead of the curve. I attribute my continued enjoyment of working with wood to Mr. Higgins because he always encouraged me to do better and pulled me aside enough to tell me to shape up. It is a rare and prized figure who has the ability to do both. I believe Mr. Higgins is now retired somewhere, probably painting houses to keep busy and watching This Old House re-runs on PBS.
Thanks Mr. Higgins. Come by anytime.
12/14/2012 - One year and one day after writing this post I read in the newspaper that Pat Higgins past away. He was a great man; he changed my life.