Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday Thirteen: Thirteen People I Admire

Over the years, I've been influenced by many great people. Some straight out of the pages of books, many I've never met. Some are no longer living, others I just don't get to spend as much time with. It's not really fair to rank these but I am going to save the last few spots for those I hold in highest esteem, hence the countdown from thirteen.

13. My 7th grade and 9th grade Civics teacher (one and the same) was a dear man named Barry Witt. I think it was Mr. Witt who inspired me to be a teacher. He just loved teaching and you could tell how excited he got about the subjects he taught. I still keep in touch with him (via Christmas cards) to this day.
12. My high school history and English teacher. Man, did Mr. Collins know his stuff. But he really didn't teach. He told stories in a Seinfeldian sort of way, with a touch of dry humor that kept us begging to know more. It was he who assigned Moby Dick during our senior year, in his class called Novels, and it was then I decided to be an English teacher.
11. Mark Rasmussen was my college history professor, and later boss of sorts. He was the fastest talker I'd ever met. I took notes non-stop in his classes, even jotting in the margins all the little anecdotes he told. I wish I'd kept those notebooks!
10. Helen Keller. I read her autobiography several years ago. And then I read any other book by or about her I could get my hands on. Her passion for learning was only heightened by her lack of sight and hearing. The amount of effort that woman put forth to learn was phenomenal. But she was not content to just soak up knowledge like a sponge; she was committed to taking action to change her part of the world.
9. My Uncle Tom is another person who inspired me to learn and in particular, to love words. His book "Word Origins and Their Romantic Histories" just fascinated me. But the greatest thing I love about my uncle is his passion for people. To know him is to be loved by him!
8. My friend Andrea at work inspires me for her commitment to excellence. It's only fitting she was just made manager of our group.
7. Robin Lee Hatcher was one of the first author's blogs I discovered when I began blogging, and I couldn't believe what a down to earth person she was. Her blog is less about her life as an author and mostly about her life as a follower of Christ, which of course rings loud and clear in her novels as well as her blog.
6. Not only do I love Jan Karon's novels, I marvel at someone who left a flourishing career to do something she really wanted to do - write.
5. My Aunt Dee Dee. She and her husband were our favorite aunt and uncle when we were kids. In spite of the fact that she lost her husband almost 30 years ago, and never had children, she always has a positive outlook. She's gotta be approaching eighty but you'd never know it, the way she runs about helping others. When she's not helping somone, she's most likely cooking or planning her next trip with girlfriends. Talk about a go-getter!
4. My good friend Katrina has been blogging pretty consistently since early this year, and what's more amazing, she does it with a newborn. But it's not just her consistent blogging I admire so much as her deep love for the Lord and her commitment to her friends.
3. Of course, where would we be without our moms, and mine did her best to see that we turned out right. Along the way, she also saw to it that we made many memories (some intentional, some quite by accident) so that we always have much to laugh about when we're together.
2. My sister is raising four great kids and I'm just so proud of the great job she is doing with them. She was always my "little" sis and I saw it as my job to take care of her. Even in college, I tried to look out for her. Now I just look up to her - she's a totally devoted mom and still my bestest friend.
1. Gotta save the last spot for my gram. To this day, I sometimes find myself asking "what would Gram do" when I find myself in a sticky situation (like halfway through baking a cake when I realize I'm out of eggs!) or when I'm tempted to open my mouth and insert my foot. She was friend, teacher, neighbor, confidante, Gram, cook, artist and poet all rolled into one.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here or visit other Thursday Thirteeners here! And please forgive me if I don't get around to reciprocating with a visit to your blog - I usually write and post before work and don't get time to blog-hop until later in the evening.


Jennifer said...

What a great list! Katrina has influenced me as well.

Katrina said...

It was great to read this list, Dianne, to learn more about what inspired you to be a teacher, and to learn a little more about what makes! You're so sweet to mention me, and I hope you know that I admire you as well - and that I am so thankful for our friendship!

Stacy said...

What a wonderful list, great T13. Funny how many people touch and inspire our lives in so many ways. :)

Have a wonderful day, thanks for stopping by my T13!

Susanne said...

What a lovely tribute to all these people who have touched your life! I love Robin Lee Hatcher and her book "Ribbon of Years" greatly affected me.

Gail said...

What a nice T13, good to remember people that have meant something to us. Enjoyed your list, sorry I missed it on Thursday!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Diane, you and I admire a few of the same people. I not only love Jan Karon's writing, but to know she left the financial world, with sure money, lived on next to nothing for awhile - literally couldnt even afford a car, and look what she writes now.

I read Helen Keller's autobiography as a teenager, and didnt really know she'd written more. Maybe good winter reading. I'll check it out. Being a grammy, loved that you put yours on your list. Reminds me what we do is oh so important.