Thank You Mr. Alguire

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"When I was in 5th grade...

It was a very good year."

-Frank Sinatra?

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You know those classes where everyone is friends with everyone?

That was Mr. Alguire's 5th grade class.

I don't remember why, but we idolized him. And he used that to push us far in our studies.

  ♪♫ The impossible is possible tonight... ♬♪

♪♫ The impossible is possible tonight... ♬♪

Most of us learned so much math then that we didn't learn anything new until high school.

It was in that class I saw my first CD player. Brandon the new kid -- but an immediate friend -- brought in the Smashing Pumpkins. Mr. Alguire let us listen while we worked in groups.

And it was in that class that I brought "dirty pictures" I found on the sidewalk.

I showed them to my friends, triggering an immediate uproar.

They were lost in the tumult. I thought I saw them fall to the ground.

"What do we have here?" said Mr. Alguire.

Oh God. I'm dead!

I looked in horror as he picked something up from the ground.

I was mortified. Blood left my face. I couldn't breathe. It's over!

"Someone left candy on the ground," he said. "I made a deal with you all. You can bring in food, but you absolutely must clean up after yourselves."

He didn't see it!

In the nearly 20 years since, I haven't thanked him once. Why? Why let so much time pass?

I've had so many experiences since. The memory is hazy. But what I do remember is Mr. Alguire's smile and the twinkle in his eye.

I remember why we venerated him. I think he venerated us, too. He saw us for the human beings we are. And he held us to a high standard. All with a sparkle in his eye.

Thank you Mr. Alguire for seeing the infinite possibility in children.