Friday, September 15, 2006

Letters about 'Grading Papers'

I got a great little note today in my Inbox from Kathy. [Click the image to see all 4 frames of the cartoon]
I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing your Everyday Paintings, the delicate lines and shading that you use, the thought and care and story that goes into each one. Your story today made me smile. Our daughter just entered her (first) senior year of college!! (She's definitely on the 5 year plan!) For a number of years we, as a family, have enjoyed the "Zits" cartoon, and even though the main character is "Jeremy", it has, on more than one occasion, seemed that they were writing about "Amanda". So much so that she has remarked, "Who are these people, and why are they spying on our life?" (And yes, I wrote the creators and told them that.) Anyway, I thought you might appreciate the attached copy of yesterday's cartoon. It seems to fit right along with your reflections [in your story]. Thanks so much for doing this — it's a bright spot in my morning!
Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman And later I got a comment posted by my buddy Darren Maurer, and asked him to send me the newspaper clipping to which he refers in this repost of his comment here:
My wife is a teacher herself, so I was always left the responsibility of getting my two girls off to school in the mornings. My oldest daughter started high school this year and I still have the vivid memory of taking her to school on her first day of Kindergarten. There we were with all the other kindergarters and their "moms" saying have a good day in the classroom. My daughter reached up and squeezed my neck and gave me a big hug. We didn't know that a photographer from the newspaper was there and captured the moment for me. The photo was on the front page of the paper the next morning and it remains to this day one of my favorites.
Thanks Darren! Great story and a tear-jerking image! See Darren's paintings: Then my 78-year-old mother wrote to tell me about her recent — get this — 60th High School Reunion for Venice High School, Class of 1946 (Venice, CA)! Here's what she wrote:
Love the new painting, David. I noted that the pencil is red. Very good detail. Loved the story. Which reminds me of my class reunion. A guy named Stan Roberts, who came all the way from Texas to attend the gathering, told us the story about our dear little math teacher, Mrs. Helen Rochoff. My sister Rachel had her for math. As you recall, I avoided all the math classes I could. She used a cane to walk, and sometimes used it to get the attention of some student who wasn't paying any. ;-) As you may also recall, Dad and I were in the first class to graduate after WW2, so probably half of our boys had been accelerated into the class before us. Many boys were drafted, even at the end of the war. Stan was in the service, and he appreciated his math teacher, and he loved to write to Mrs. Rochoff. He said, after writing her the first letter, she sent it back to him, GRADED AND CORRECTED in red pencil. That didn't discourage him or embarrass him. He kept writing, and each time, she'd write back and include his letter, corrected and graded. Can you believe it? They have continued their correspondence all these years... (she may have died not too long ago) and he was proud to say, that he is a TEACHER down there in Texas.

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