It’s been a long time now since Kris taught high school. Back then I used to joke that her students muttered behind her back, “Ms. Gates is such a bitch.” The truth is I was proud of her. She did a damn fine job, and I could tell.
A few months ago I took a phone call at Custom Box Service form a young man in Chicago. We got to talking, and it turns out he grew up in Canby, and graduated from high school during the late 1990s. “Oh,” I said. “Did you have Ms. Gates for chemistry or physics?”
“Yes,” he said.
“She’s my wife,” I said. “I’m her husband.”
He went from business-like to gushing in the space of a breath. “Omigosh,” he said. “Ms. Gates was awesome. She was the best teacher I ever had.” He raved about her, as do all of her students when I encounter them in real-life.
This video reminds me of Kris and her years as a teacher:
It also reminds me of a certain band teacher I know.