Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Nominee for Teacher Hall of Fame: Lance Alter

When people discuss public education, some things are lost. Several of the best teachers from whom I learned were right-wing as could be. In 8th grade Lance Alter was our teacher for Reading. He also taught English, later on in the academic sojourn. 1/5

Sophomore year we had to write a book report (one of several). He asked if I had a book in mind. After a pause, he said I might like “this” book. Until then I’d read sci-fi (e.g., The Foundation trilogy) or political novels (e.g., “1984"). 2/5

He suggested “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Never had a work of fiction hit me that way. One may have an opinion of Fitzgerald as a writer. We have had many great writers. Every couple of years (or more frequently) I read “Gatsby” again. 3/5

Yes, that green light still burns at the end of Daisy’s dock, across the sound. We beat on against some damn current. Sometimes we make progress, often not. 4/5

I called Mr Alter a few years ago & thanked him. Too often we overlook the lessons we can learn from someone with whom we disagree about many things. I felt I had to write this tonight. We learn life’s lessons from each other. 5/5

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