A reflection during the apocalypse of an inspiring teacher


I must begin by saying I, in no way, think today is the end. But, it is the end of the year, a year of change personally. Surfing the web news headlines this morning brought something to mind when I saw the headline:

Bells toll for victims one week after shooting

It instantly reminded me of a quote we had to learn in high school public speaking class by John Donne. Meditation 17 starts out, “No man is an island” and made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Our public speaking/geography teacher, Coach Trammell, father of baseball player Bubba Trammell, was an unorthodox teacher to say the least. The first day of class, he would throw the book against the wall and flip us off. He wanted us to be free thinkers, not sheep. His famous saying was, “if I can talk about it, I know it. If I can’t talk about it, I don’t know it.” Coach Trammell gave us a list of famous quotes and passages he wanted us to know and, more importantly, be able to talk about. Meditation 17 by John Donne was one of his favorites.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

He wanted us to know something very important…we’re all in this together.

Thanks, Coach Trammell…

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