I have oft been told what a good history teacher I would make. I used to believe it, though some recent events had called that into question. I am leaning back towards believing it.
When I love something, have a passion for it, have put in the time and effort to study it and know my material, I actually do believe I have the capabilities to be not "a teacher" but, at the risk of hubris, a great teacher.
Ironically, not too long ago I had someone tell me that a third person had told them the 3rd person worried the potential influence I would have on some people. Influence, I might add, that I have studied harder, longer, and have a far better understanding of the subject than the person worried about me has.
Yes, I do worry about the influence they wield, but far from attacking them, I deliberately went way out of my way at great personal cost to avoid confronting them about what they were doing more than once. And yes, if I had it to do over again...that confrontation would take place. Of course, it would cost me some friendships...but it would help a lot of people. It is a tough question knowing which of two bad paths is the better.
Anyway, yesterday, one of the people I once had such an influence on back when I was teaching texted me out of the blue saying I was the best teacher they ever had on a subject they were wrestling with and how it was helping them work through some things.
The real irony here is that I have not taught that particular person for almost 12 years. But they still remember specific lessons that I taught. Some lessons I do not particularly remember teaching.
It is probably prideful, and that I would regret, but I have to admit that made me feel good. Something that I did, that I put a lot of time and effort in to, is still having results today. Positive, life-changing results.
Nor are they the only one who has ever said that. I have heard that from 6 different people that I recall off the top of my head and a couple others who have specifically referred to individual lessons that I taught and how that lesson expanded their understanding.
I started to write this about the "what if" conundrum...how people like to look at key choices in life and conjecture what would have happened had different decisions been made.
It is such a popular past-time that Harry Turtledove...and I hope that is a pen name, because do we really need a war-mongering "turtledove"*?...has made a very nice living writing "what if" alternate histories.
Just a side note; if it is an alternate...it is not a history. Just sayin'.
The thing is, there are no "what ifs", there are only "what ares' and what are you going to do with it?
Personally, I think what if hypotheticals are...are...can I do it? They are just Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law III.
* Turtle Doves are known as a love emblem
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