It’s National Teacher’s Day here in the US, and that got me thinking.
I was inspired to write this email back in late 2018, when I heard this podcast: https://fs.blog/barbara-coloroso/ It’s a hella good interview, even if you don’t have kids (I don’t).
It reminded me: I had a teacher who changed my life for the better.
His name was Foyle Brogden (yes, really), and he taught Physics at Davie County Collective High School in Mocksville, North Carolina, where I attended high school in the 90’s.
He was cool, in a nerdy, professorial way. He drove a vintage but not-restored VW bug and did not care one bit what you thought about that.
I nearly drove Mr. Brogden crazy.
It wasn’t behavior problems. I didn’t really have those until much later in life (ha!).
It was because I wanted to understand physics, and I didn’t understand the first time Mr. Brogden explained things.
So… I asked questions.
I asked a lot of questions.
I asked a maddening amount of questions.
Because dammit, I wanted to understand the subject!
I didn’t learn physics from Foyle Brogden.
Or if I did, I’ve forgotten 99% of it.
What I did learn is how to persist through not understanding something, interrogate effectively, and move into a place of understanding.
Warren Buffet has said public speaking is the most valuable career skill you can learn.
I don’t disagree, but I wonder if something like curiosity and a method for learning aren’t more fundamental to success?
Wherever you are now, Mr. Brogden, thank you for those gifts.