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Only those of you who have seen Rhonda's sailing lessons will appreciate the humor in that photo.

Schools just back in session and I’ve been thinking about teachers, specifically, some of mine. I know it’s not an easy job, and unfortunately, I have to confess I was not the easiest student.

There was Mrs. P who assured me when I was in the 3rd grade that I was going to end up in jail someday. Thankfully she was wrong on that account, well at least I hope I’m out of the woods on that one.

Then there was Mr. D who in the 6th grade gave me the board of education, back when you could still do that. Mr. D was later on the Board and a big supporter of Northwestern College. I worked as an architect for the College for 25 years and exchanged a few chuckles with Mr. D who I think approved of how I finally turned out. For the record, I deserved the board. I also went on to work on many additions to that elementary school.

Then there was Mr. H. He pulled me out in the hallway one day in the 8th grade, sat me down on the steps, got real close (and I do mean real close), looked me in the eye and said, “Moss you’re a leader”, at which point I was feeling really good. Then he went on to say, “and you had better stop leading your little band of outlaws in disrupting my class.” Turns out, I think Mr. H was right, and thankfully I think I put those skills to more positive use.

Then there was a second Mr. D, Mr. De Hoogh, who was one of several teachers who mentored me on my path to becoming an architect. Today I get to enjoy traveling with Mr. De Hoogh on some of our tours.

There were other teachers outside of a formal education setting too. By example I believe my dad taught me, leadership, confidence, to be persuasive, passionate, persistent, how to manage money. He was also generous. Mom on the other hand was a good listener, neat, organized and hospitable. Good traits if you are going to be an architect or a tour leader.

Then there was my business mentor Mr. Brygger. He hired me in 1986. I was thankful to have the job, but in the arrogance of my youth at the time, I thought I had superior skills in the areas that really mattered as an architect. I’m sure Jim was well aware of my arrogance, but yet he patiently mentored me in so many important skills that would be invaluable to me in later years when he passed me the baton as the company CEO.

I have many more stories about my education and I’m still learning. I think you get the idea, I was lucky to have great teachers. I guess if you are, or were a teacher, this is thank you from me, one of your worst nightmares. You made a difference to me, and so many others.

If you’re not a teacher, but you had one, here is my recommendation. Teachers probably didn’t get into the profession because its highly lucrative. They probably don’t expect an apple from you at this point either. Perhaps they did it to make a difference, and the best thing you might be able to do is assure them they did.

Teachers, Thank you. You may never get to see the results, or know the difference you make, but you do. You made a difference to me, and I apologize for not letting you know until now. Somehow, I’m guessing you know I was a slow learner, and have already forgiven me.

By the way. There are 151 uses of the word teacher in the Bible, many of them referring to Jesus.

Ecclesiastes 12:9

Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.

Luke 6:40

The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

P.S. Too old to learn? In 2010 Wilfred and Harriet invited us to help out with Extra Touch Tours. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel thankful and blessed by this privilege. Since that time, we have been afforded the education of a lifetime. Travel to me is learning on steroids, and I just regret I didn’t have the time, or resources to do it when I was young. Want to learn about history, culture, faith, geography, art architecture, food, wildlife, geoolgy ……Travel!!!!!!

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