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Richard Pennington (리처드 패닝턴)

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Teachers I remember from Bryan Adams High School


My college days consisted of seven semesters at the University of Texas and one at Stephen F. Austin State University. During that time, I recall just one truly bad teacher—Dr. Herbert Hirsch, a bull-headed, left-wing government professor at UT. The others ranged from outstanding to adequate. What about my three years at BA? Much the same, except that there was nothing like Hirsch, who still merits a grade of “F” in my book. All, I think, were up to the tasks required of them. With the help of pages 166-169 and 403-404 of my 1971 El Conquistador, I am able to think back to those times and make a few assessments. I present them forthwith, in alphabetical order:

• Charles Abbott (East Texas State), American history teacher. Always in a good mood. He used to quip, “Let me say this about that….”

• Donna Bronaugh (Indiana), English teacher. She seemed to be doing her utmost to hold it together in the classroom. Sometimes, frankly, I worried about her.

• Stanley Brumbaugh (Michigan, SMU), Spanish teacher. Mr. Brumbaugh was muy divertido. He made learning Spanish fun, and his classes were often uproarious. Who could not like him?

• Evelyn Campbell (Baylor), typing teacher. I have said before that her one-semester course, in which I learned not to fear the keyboard of a typewriter, was the most important one I ever took. I appreciated her style up in front of a classroom of students. A superb teacher.

• Hattie Fowler (Southwest Texas, Texas Woman’s University, UT), librarian. OK, I have to admit that I was not a big fan of this lady. She seemed to have a sour attitude and resented having to help students. Maybe she was sexually frustrated.

• Charles Holloway (Prairie View), algebra teacher. I did not actually take one of his classes, but I had a pleasant encounter with him outside the school one day in late 1970 and was impressed. Very nice guy, and I know it was not easy as one of BA’s first black faculty members (along with Lucius Davis and Marcus Freeman). They were probably called upon to help quell the racial violence that engulfed our alma mater the next year when busing started.

• Tim Hughes (Henderson State, Peabody College), “Latin American" history teacher. The ’71 yearbook was dedicated to him, and I can see why. He was simply a great educator, he loved his topic, and he loved his students. All these years later, Mr. Hughes’ classroom enthusiasm is a vivid memory.

• Bruce Hunter (college unspecified), math teacher. I was in over my head in one of his math classes, and he mercifully gave me a C for trying. Do I remember incorrectly that there was some kind of early-model computer in his classroom? Mr. Hunter was the subject of controversy since he was an avowed atheist; I read several articles about him in the Dallas Morning News.

• Mildred King (North Texas State, TWU, East Texas State), English teacher. I had her for one or two English courses, but most of all I remember this stout woman as our home room teacher for three years. Mrs. King did not speak, she bellowed. By the time I graduated, I was sick of her.

• Ruth McCoy (UT), Texas history teacher. She could tell you all about pre-Columbian Texas, the arrival of the Spanish, Stephen F. Austin, the Alamo, the Civil War and the ups and downs of our state’s economy and culture.

• Louis Murray (East Texas State, Stetson), geometry teacher. I liked him so much. Easy going, did everything he could to teach us. He had a folksy saying before introducing a topic: “First we’ll cuss it, then we’ll dis-cuss it.”

• Ann Nieto (TWU, North Texas State, New Mexico, Georgia), speech teacher. Wonderful teacher, just great. She showed us that there was no need to be nervous in getting up in front of an audience and speaking. Mrs. Nieto, who exuded joy, also organized some kind of play that we staged in the auditoriums of Kiest, Gill, Truett, Rinehart and other nearby elementary schools. She is fondly remembered.

• Patricia Osborne (Colorado, TWU, North Texas State, SMU), sociology teacher. During my senior year, I took her sociology course because I thought it would be an easy elective. I suppose it was. At any rate, I remember that Mrs. Osborne arranged a classroom experiment in which I was the subject. There was a drawing with a series of bars, one of which was slightly longer than the others. Somehow, she told the rest of the students to claim it was shorter. I was supposed to give into peer pressure and admit that it was shorter. But I ruined the show by insisting on what my eyes told me—it was longer.

• Dolph Regelsky (North Dakota), American history teacher and baseball coach. Again, I did not actually have one of his classes. In fact, I never spoke to him or had the slightest contact. He had earned his stripes by playing 10 years with such minor league clubs as the Wellsville Yankees, Macon Peaches, Sioux Falls Canaries, Des Moines Bruins, Clarksdale Planters, Rocky Mount Leafs, Raleigh Capitals, Meridian Millers, Lynchburg Cardinals and Little Rock Travelers. Regelsky, a Chicago native, never got above the AA level, so his skills on the diamond (he played shortstop) were not too great. But he took part in 652 pro games, had a .270 batting average and hit 68 home runs. He was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1994, and the BA baseball field was named after him in 2010. Nevertheless, I have to be honest and say that some of his players despised him.

• Anne Voss (North Texas State), journalism teacher. Young and easily manipulated by some students. I wrote a few articles for the Cougar Chronicle, of which she was the faculty advisor. When she chose somebody else to serve as sports editor our senior year, I walked away from the student newspaper. One more thing about this pretty, blonde-headed woman. She had a wedding and almost as quickly got an annulment or a divorce. We never knew what the story was. She was Miss Voss, then Mrs. So-and-So, and then Miss Voss again, all within a few weeks.

• Maryellen Wilbanks (Trinity), creative writing teacher. Big mistake on my part not to take one or more of her classes, but I did not know back then that I would spend 35-plus years in the editorial field. She seemed to have a lively personality.

• Austrums “Zeke” Zidermanis (North Texas State, Arlington State), biology teacher and swimming coach. Like Miss Voss, he was young enough to be able to relate to us, but unlike her, he was no pushover. I liked him very much, and I sensed that the male and female swimmers he coached felt the same way.