mrs roach

Before I returned to residency, I got in contact with my old lab partner Ingrid. She invited me to come along with her to see our high school history teacher, Mrs. Roach. Mrs. Roach had just overcome lyphoma and has returned to teaching.
I wrote Mrs. Roach and she wrote me back an email which really made my 12-hr call night. She remembered my little sister too, and invited us to come visit her whenever we can.
There was something about the Roach (we never called her that…it just sounds like what a narrator for a flashback would say) that made her stand out in her students’ minds. She made us read The Source by James Michner which became one of my favorite readings. she had us do fun projects like make castles and she’d try to find weaknesses in our defenses. I remember my friend Matt had this ‘great’ idea of cages with tigers in the front. He’d leave them hungry, so that when the enemy came the tigers would eat them. “What if the enemy sneaked up on you? Wouldn’t your tigers starve? Don’t they need excercise? What if they attacked your men?” Matt thought I was a pessimist. Mrs. Roach had the same questions for him, and decided to wipe out his tiger army with fire or something.
Mrs. Roach made us watch the news. She’s draw a name out of a jar and have us tell her something about what was going on in the world. I thought this was sooooo boring back then. She turned her nose up on Headline News, which was all I was willing to watch. Now I listen and think about world events- at least as much as my time allows, and I’m pretty sure she inspired it.
What really meant a lot to me was the personal card she’d send to each gradute she taught. she really loves her students (whom she refers to as hooligans), past, present, future, and that’s made all the difference.

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Published in: on July 13, 2008 at 6:26 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dr. Dao:

    Three days ago, I went to my regular family physician and complained of an acute stingng pain to the left side of my face. He told me to stop slapping myself “like you’re doing right now”. Do you think this was very professional of him?

  2. I think this was acceptable advice, but I personally like to cure, not advise. I would have sent you home in a strait jacket. Then the slapping would stop for sure.


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