So on Wednesday I took a little drive into Germany… 1128 kms (or 701 miles) to be exact.
I went to go see a man about a dog.
Actually, I went to see a woman about a puppy! :D
And did a little side trip to Worms.
“Why Worms?” you ask.
Well, because when I was looking at the map of the area I was driving to… the name jumped out at me. Not because of squiggly little things… no… because of Sophomore year history class back in high school.
He was my history teacher for 3 years of high school – he made it ALL interesting. Romans, Greeks, Otto von Bismarck, Henry VIII, World War II, serfs and kings, Crusades, and the Diet of Worms.
For those of you who don’t know – the Diet of Worms, held in 1521, was an assembly hosted by the Holy Roman Emperor that asked Martin Luther to appear and defend his teachings and his 95 Theses. The Diet ended up issuing the Edict of Worms, which outlawed Martin Luther and his teachings. (Martin Luther’s nailing of his ’95 Theses’ to the door of Christianity started this little movement called “Protestantism.” A movement that a once unified Christianity is still reeling from.)
So I had to go see the Cathedral there. I HAD to go to Worms. I’m in the ‘hood after all!
I was irrationally excited to visit this footnote of history.
And as I drove I thought about Ferg; About the way he made history come to life, the way he made his enthusiasm for the past infectious to me. About the way that he encouraged and challenged. About the way that he read from the Book of Torture as a reward. (LOL!) And about how he inspired me.
I don’t think I would have become a history teacher without Ferg to emulate.
And imagine my joy when I finally DID begin to teach to not only be his colleague, but share a classroom with him! To also write in white chalk on the boards where he had once laid out his notes. To encourage and support HIM as we took history into the present day and brought all sorts of technology gadgets into the classroom. To actually get on a plane with him and our students and go SEE together the things we both read about, hear about, studied about, taught about. (I sold most of my belongings when I moved to Europe, but I STILL have most of my Ferg Notebooks! They have been a great research source MANY a time!)
I have no idea if he knows the impact he had on me. But as I drove at lilting speed towards Worms, as I lit a candle there in the silent Cathedral and saw the statue of Luther in the Protestant church across the street,… I wished that I could tell him.