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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Monday, March 5 2001

Readers' teacher memories (seventh in the series on Blacklick Valley teachers),

My day of rest seems to be have been appointed as Monday this week, as far as this daily task is concerned. On Sunday I received an excellent memoir from Mary Ann Losiewicz sharing some of her teacher memories, a number of which overlapped with mine, but which also moved the history from Blacklick Township to Blacklick Valley school district, something that's very interesting to people like myself who moved away before the merger was accomplished and know very few details about how it worked. Also, I received a reply to an inquiry I sent to Woody Gay (Wayne Gay's "big brother"), who preceded us at Blacklick Township High School by a couple of years and who, after some cogitation, was able to come up with a couple of the faculty names that had escaped my memory earlier. Both of those letters are presented below as the "postcard" for today. —Jon Kennedy

Hi Jon,

Reading all the names in your latest messages brought back a lot of memories. While I am a few years younger than you, I see that I have had quite a number of the same teachers, especially the ones that were part of the combination when Blacklick Township and Nanty Glo/Vintondale joined. I recall having Mr. Ray Clawson as the Principal of Big Bend Elementary School, followed by Mr Paul Adams, who also taught 7th grade there. The earlier teachers I had were probably not some that a lot of the list remembers, but I do have fond memories of the majority of them. I also had Mrs. Taylor for music. She was a wonderful teacher and gave me the love I have today for music. I think she and Mrs. Bankovich were the two that gave me that love. I also have many fond memories of my 2nd grade teacher, Miss Josephine Diamond. I think she was great, and she really did give of herself for her students. She was a friend of both my Mom and grandmother, so it was almost as if I grew up with her. My grandmother was also friends with my 4th grade teacher, Miss Beck. She lived only down the road from us, and she attended my church, so she was a real influence.

One of the better teachers I had at Big Bend was Mr. DeYulis. He was a new teacher when I was in 6th grade, but I think he made learning fun. Plus, he had a no-nonsense attitude that we all knew and respected, because we saw that he played no favorites. I had Mr. McCann for 8th grade science, when we went to the "brand new" Jr/Sr High School. He did impart a love for that subject on those that tried to understand. While he was a bit difficult for some of the students to understand, he was good and my class dedicated our yearbook to him.

As for Mr. Antol, he taught freshman biology at the high school. I never understood the reasons behind having to learn types of trees and wildflowers by their leaves or appearance, but that knowledge came in handy when I took ecology in college. I was one of the few able to identify certain trees.

I am not sure if it was a good thing or not for me to have some of the same teachers as my Mother did. The one that comes to mind the most is Mrs. Blackman. While my Mom and her sisters all had Mrs. Blackman for Home Economics when they were in school (and I was even in one of the "style shows" with my youngest aunt who made the matching outfits), my Mom was not the best seamstress in the house. Her sisters were much better. Unfortunately, the same was true for me. And I think Mrs. Blackman remembered my Mom for this and it fell on me as well. As hard as I tried, it was never good enough for her. I can sew now, and much better than I would have thought, but not because of Mrs. Blackman; more from my own determination to prove her wrong.

Her sister, Mrs. Smith (Dr. William P. Smith's wife, and the other Dr. Smith's mother) was a wonderful substitute teacher. I often found it hard to believe the two of them were related as they were so different. I also liked Mr. Sowalla for art and for the many hours of elective art I spent there. Almost every study hall I had, I spent in the art room. I also loved Miss Ward, even though when we had her in elementary school, she was very strict. If she saw a love of art in a person, she encouraged it.

Like you, I could probably go on and on about so many more teachers, but I think this is enough for now.

Mary Ann Losiewicz

Jon,

I gave you the wrong name for the science teacher.... I told you that I remembered the name while at the barbershop. Well, I asked the barber for a pen and paper so I could write it down, because I knew that I would forget by the time I got home. When writing you yesterday, I didn't get my note from my jacket (as) I thought I had remembered, but I was wrong; the teacher's name was not Mr. Gindlesberger, it was Mr. Miltenberger. He was the teacher '55-'56 school year. Mr. Frank taught '54-'55, and then Mr. McCann.

The coach you were looking for was Mr. O'Connor, '55-'56 school year. Mr. Fulmer '54-'55 school year, Mr. O'Connor '55-'56, and then Mr McKivigan. These names are correct. So now the rest of the story ...is yours.

Woody Gay

Comprehending Engineers

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?" The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

"The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

Comprehending Engineers - Take Two

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Sent by Trudy Myers

Lenten thought

The natural needs of the individual being, such as nourishment, self-perpetuation and self-preservation, become an end in themselves: they dominate man, and end up as "passions," causes of anguish and the utmost pain, and ultimately the cause of death.... As St. Maximus puts it: it means an existence which does not come to fruition, which shuts itself off from the "end" for which it was made—life as love and communion....

The fall arises out of man's free decision to reject personal communion with God and restrict himself to the autonomy and self-sufficiency of his own nature... "In the day you eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall be as gods" [Gen. 3:5]. This provocation places before man the existential possibility for nature on its own to determine and exhaust the fact of existence. This kind of "deification" of human nature goes against its very truth: it is an "existential life," a fictitious possibility of life. Man's nature is created and mortal. It partakes in being, in true life, only to the extent that it transcends itself, as an existential fact of personal distinctiveness.

Christos Yannaras: The Freedom of Morality

Sent by Thomas Ross Valentine
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