Jump to content
The Education Forum

Best Teacher: JFK Researchers


John Simkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

The Guardian have published a series of short articles about people's best teachers:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/j...her-inspired-me

For example, here is Bonnie Greer's contribution:

One of my best teachers was my history professor, Dr Turner, at university at the beginning of the 1970s. He laid the facts down and was able to show how history moved in cycles. He predicted the disaster of Richard Nixon and Watergate, based on Nixon's activities in the 1950s. He let me see that history is written by the victors not the vanquished, and that it is always necessary to ­investigate – never to take ­anyone's word for anything.

I would welcome members views on their best teacher. Do you think this influenced your research?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my case it would probably be a member of the Marist Brother community, Michael Ignatius from Columbus High School in Miami, Florida. He was our Social Studies teacher and he was the first one to introduce us to subjects like Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, KS, the John Birch Society, Segregationists, McCarthyism, Alger Hiss and The Hollywood Ten of Gerald L K Smith. Without that early grounding, I probably would never have even started out on my extended serpentine journey into the JFK investigation. And certainly I would have not been open to the realistic possibility that the opponents of Brown vs. Board of Education would be the ones behind the assassination of JFK, MLK and RFK. Thank you to Brother Michael for opening up our eyes and for opening up our minds. We actually all thought that "Separate but Equal" was an OK solution to the problem of educational segregation issues. I mean in Miami, at the time (mid-1960's), there were still "Black High Schools" and "White High Schools" based on the surrounding neighborhoods and no busing whatsoever and our school was 99.5% Lily White and that was just the way it was and no one in power who liked that wanted to make any changes. We even tried to bring in the team from Power Memorial Academy in New York City that featured Lew Alcindor for an exhibition basketball game but were turned down flat by the FHSAA. And when we suggested pre-season non-conference games against the local black teams like George Washington Carver or Booker T. Washington we were also discouraged and shouted down by our current coach as well. Four years later the Number One NBA draft choice was Kareen Abdul Jabbar and Number Two was Neal Walk from Miami Beach High who went on to the Phoenix Suns of the ABA for a better offer. And I made First Team Coaches All-State in Florida and MVP of the Florida All-Star game in Gainesville while Neal Walk was not even chosen for the team since he was only 17 years old at the time, in a touch of real irony. Neal's coach, Chuck Fieldson, used to film opponents and use the films to teach his players certain techniques. He was the only one to do that at the High School level in Miami, so I guess that makes him perhaps one of the best basketball coaches and teachers in Miami history. Neal once told me that his coach would use films of my jump shooting techniques as the paradigm for perfection and they had to watch hours of film of our games over and over again until their shooting improved. Hey, thanks, coach. And thanks, Brother Michael Ignatius.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my case it would probably be a member of the Marist Brother community, Michael Ignatius from Columbus High School in Miami, Florida. He was our Social Studies teacher and he was the first one to introduce us to subjects like Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, KS, the John Birch Society, Segregationists, McCarthyism, Alger Hiss and The Hollywood Ten of Gerald L K Smith. Without that early grounding, I probably would never have even started out on my extended serpentine journey into the JFK investigation. And certainly I would have not been open to the realistic possibility that the opponents of Brown vs. Board of Education would be the ones behind the assassination of JFK, MLK and RFK. Thank you to Brother Michael for opening up our eyes and for opening up our minds. We actually all thought that "Separate but Equal" was an OK solution to the problem of educational segregation issues. I mean in Miami, at the time (mid-1960's), there were still "Black High Schools" and "White High Schools" based on the surrounding neighborhoods and no busing whatsoever and our school was 99.5% Lily White and that was just the way it was and no one in power who liked that wanted to make any changes. We even tried to bring in the team from Power Memorial Academy in New York City that featured Lew Alcindor for an exhibition basketball game but were turned down flat by the FHSAA. And when we suggested pre-season non-conference games against the local black teams like George Washington Carver or Booker T. Washington we were also discouraged and shouted down by our current coach as well. Four years later the Number One NBA draft choice was Kareen Abdul Jabbar and Number Two was Neal Walk from Miami Beach High who went on to the Phoenix Suns of the ABA for a better offer. And I made First Team Coaches All-State in Florida and MVP of the Florida All-Star game in Gainesville while Neal Walk was not even chosen for the team since he was only 17 years old at the time, in a touch of real irony. Neal's coach, Chuck Fieldson, used to film opponents and use the films to teach his players certain techniques. He was the only one to do that at the High School level in Miami, so I guess that makes him perhaps one of the best basketball coaches and teachers in Miami history. Neal once told me that his coach would use films of my jump shooting techniques as the paradigm for perfection and they had to watch hours of film of our games over and over again until their shooting improved. Hey, thanks, coach. And thanks, Brother Michael Ignatius.

Interesting post John. I suspect that most JFK researchers had their minds opened by a very good teacher.

Some relevant quotes:

“Disobedience in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and rebellion.” (Oscar Wilde)

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."

(W. A. Ward)

“History free of all values cannot be written. Indeed, it is a concept almost impossible to understand, for men will scarcely take the trouble to inquire laboriously into something which they set no value upon (W. H. B. Court)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'' "Disobedience in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and rebellion." (Oscar Wilde)

"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."

(W. A. Ward)

"History free of all values cannot be written. Indeed, it is a concept almost impossible to understand, for men will scarcely take the trouble to inquire laboriously into something which they set no value upon (W. H. B. Court)''

quote

Yes John. I've had many Teachers throughout my life.

Formally, I'd say my English teacher in high school was an arechetype. I think we naturally got on well, but his contribution was a consistent encouragement to question, to think outside the box, to reinterpret accepted wisdoms, iow to think critically. Of course he taught english, but he was ever attentive to anyones thinking and never dismissive of persons, rather led discussions about subjects, and often stood aside to allow everyone to have a say. I can't remember him ever saying anything as being the final say on any matter.

I think this was a teaching by example rather than forcing a regurgitation of officially approved 'facts'. This got him into trouble at times, but his authority as a person made it so he always overcame such matters. I'm as old now as he was then, and he's long gone, but if there is one person I'd like to sit down and talk with today it is him.

The many other Teachers I've had before and since are all of this type.

Then there are teachers, of whom there are many, the few I remember anything about of consequence, concerns matters of cruelty, stifling of independent thinking, a general demeanour of an obsessive ego, a disinterest in any input that varies from the teachers personally adopted views and often a disinterest in the subject at hand in general, while ''teaching'', really only concerned with the self in the scheme of things.

(I suppose that can be considered a kind of reverse teaching, again by example).

As far as having the opportunity of being taught by truly knowledgeable persons, probably my physics teachers in highschool and university qualify*, though as persons, I despised one, and was indifferent of the other. Here again my english teacher was influential in having taught me to try to look past the person to the subject.

I think this influences my research. I see myself as an independent researcher, not a follower of experts, real or imaginary.

EDIT ADD : Its funny rereading what I wrote and at this (asterix point*) thought of and actually admired greatly even though he had almost constantly an aura of boredom about him except when teachimg maths, especially last year high, top grade maths, or showing us the newly acquired first computer at the school, when I slunk in late coz of just passing driving test that gave me permission to be a menace on the road, tho I had been for some time already ( the worst was being caught driving thru perth too young without a licence, funny now but not so then! ), anyway, back at the farm, whenever I got to that point of mentioning him, and he deserves mentioning, but as this topic is about influence, and that influence was sometimes unpalatable and a wierd experience once, at the licence point after class had started, I pause to mention him, but why should I? I thought I might have managed to slink in but someone had snitched, knowing I'd be late, so this rather brilliant mathematician asked me straight away how to solve a particularly diff calc problem that included some 15 steps taught to us the day before and to everyones shock it just flowed out of me perfectly, he just snorted and carried on with the lesson, very endearing, but I think I get his point ( I think) , later I handed in a solution to another complex problem thinking I'd done it the right way and after class he, allowing another boy to watch, asked me to stay and explain to me how i did that, I'd gotten the right solution, but in a way previously unknown to him ( as it was to me, I just did as I thought was right, but it was not as he had taught us, and he was flabbergasted, my estimation of him fell. I guess that tells as much about me as him, but one thing he really did teach me was to take life as it came, a lot about courage. He was humble, but very flippant generally. He taught me a lot about courage, particularly the courage to be seen wrong and to agree.

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...