Thursday, July 8, 2010

mr. vandruff

This past semester has been one of the most difficult in my teaching career. In April I learned that my past AP Art History/3-d Art teacher was very ill. Recently I learned that he has Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. There is no cure and limited treatment for his symptoms.

I was lucky enough to have Rick as my 3-d Art teacher my freshman year of high school. As the year went on, I found myself asking to "stay to work on my 3-d art project" during his AP Art History class that was the following period. I was never the same. My senior year I took Rick's AP Art History class and knew that I had found my calling. I went on to university and earned my degree in Art History. I returned to Wilson High School and talked to Rick about my schooling and what I wanted to do. He invited me into his classroom to give a special lecture on my studies. I then started the credential program at CSULB. When I ran into friends from Wilson and they asked what I was doing in school, I told them I wanted to be Mr. Vandruff (I mean, who wouldn't?). In April I became a little like Mr. Vandruff when I took over some of his Art History classes when he took a leave of absence from teaching to focus on getting healthy. His students love him. They love him for teaching them about the world and its art. They love him for being the person he is....absolutely amazing.

Rick, my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.