Mr. Kluge

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Mr. Kluge

When I got into high school (Gr. 8 for me)I became determined to find a group of people that I could belong to. I searched and asked around. “what sort of writing or art clubs do we have”, was my first question to my humanities teacher. She had this moment of genuine need to push and further my education, and she did something for me that I will never forget. She sent me to another teacher. At first glance Mr. Kluge is a gruff, towering and very much a task master to the newbie or first timer, but there I was at his classroom door during lunch hour trying to think of what to say.

I had to knock on the door first…I wait. He looks at me once through the glass, and makes as if he is going to choose to ignore me. I feel a surge of annoyance and quickly decide that my passion for writing needed to be heard and not marginalized, and I ventured to actually open the door, plant myself in a chair in front of his desk and say:

“I want to know how you can help me start a writers club…”

Oh my god! Did I just say that?! By the look on Mr. Kluge’s face I in fact had, and I definitely couldn’t take it back so I sat and waited. You see it hadn’t occurred to me that Kelly Road had a reputation as a roughneck school, that pushed out nothing but less than minimum hourly wage labourers.

Mr. Kluge. Well meaning and not one to totally crush a tender 13 year old girls dreams, said”

“Do you have any previous experience?” My split second thought on this question was: what is this a job interview? However, as luck would have it I did have a few peices of work I had worked on through summer vacation and I slid them over his desk and said nothing while smiling like a Cheshire cat.

I had no clue but that was the moment that I made a life long friend with this man, and he would have such influence over my desires to read more than just the common place high school literature. He is one of the few teachers that I have ever know that took such care to ensure that his students were ready. Capable of standing up to the world, able to come to our own conclusions, to hold fast to our point of view. Teachers are such an intergal part of education. Its not just ABC and 123 its honoring a students ability to have an opinion, to help them see it through starting at A and working up to B and C. Re-evaluating your opinion, making adjustments if or when you assumption proves invalid, and choosing a new course to still attain that ultimate goal.

What he taught me translates to every aspect of my life! What I do for work, how I help my child solve a problem, married life’s twists and turns. Now there is an inspiration.

by Natalie J.

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