Happy Thought by Robert Louis Stevenson from his book: A Child's Garden of Verses.
The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should be happy as kings.
My Mother just continues to amaze me. I just got off the phone with her and I picked this little poem (along with a couple of others) to read to her; before I could finish the first line, Mother had recited the last line. This little exercise is more fun and exciting for me than it is for her probably. I can't get over how gifted Catherine LeDuke was all her life and how she continues to be even now.
So with that "Happy Thought" I return to the task of sharing your letters of tribute with others who are equally amazed by Catherine LeDuke.
Dear Cathie, Jimmy, and Richard,
I am so thankful to your mom and dad for the professional manner in which they both approached teaching. (1) expect nothing but the best from your students and (2) always continue to grow in the learning process.
There are some stories I remember fondly (fudge in your mom's third/fourth year Latin classes; acid spill in your dad's chemistry lab; etc.). But honestly, I prefer to concentrate on the remarkable way in which both truly understood the importance of their professions.
First, their superior knowledge of their subject matter was unquestionable. Remarkably, they were able to present that knowledge to me in such a way that I could grasp it. Furthermore, because they always expected me to do my best, it never entered my mind that I could do less. They understood that in order to get the best from their students, they must expect the best.
Finally, although I did not realize it in high school, they both inspired me to think, to question, to continue the learning process into my adult years. WOW! What a gift!
The older I become, the more I realize how fortunate I was to have had such wonderful mentors during my high school years. I will forever be indebted to them, and they will always occupy a special place in my heart.
Connie Donnell Riley