Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Effect of James Carden, Part II

Exactly one year ago I published a post about my 10th grade history teacher, James Carden. He was one of those inspiring zealots who leave lasting impressions on the people they encounter.

I voted today. I might have voted even if I hadn't known James Carden, but it would have happened with more detachment, I'm sure. James Carden taught me, a very non-political person, to care, and to act accordingly. And if the truth be known, during a frighteningly apathetic time of my life, I didn't bother to vote, and didn't give a rat's ass about it, either. Then I remembered James Carden.

He was intense, by golly. He didn't speak; he bellowed. If it wasn't important, then he didn't bother to say it. His words were punctuated by fists pounding and face reddening. His body paid the price- his heart condition required him to pop glycerin pills upon each outburst.

I don't favorably recall many events from my school years, but I do fondly remember our political debates in James Carden's class. That's how he taught us to care, even though it was very uncool for teenagers to do so. In the safety of his classroom, away from our peers who wouldn't get it, he ignited our fires, built to burn for a lifetime.

I voted today, and I cared about and had researched each of my choices. I thought of James Carden as I was handed my "I voted today" sticker. James Carden's fire has surely been snuffed out by now, but the many others he lit burn steadily.


Kelley Bell said...

I voted too, and must say, I am rather pleased with the results!

Betty said...



garnet david said...

Hey Betty, it's good to have you back and kickin'


EuroYank said...

I also knew James Carden, and because of him I voted, and mighty pleased with the results!

Betty said...

I'll never be as blog-happy as you, though.


Betty said...


If more of us had known James Carden, I don't think we'd be in this pickle!

Thanks for visiting,

Sideways Chica said...

I wore my "I voted today" sticker with pride, as I always do. That's the main reason I don't do the absentee voting thing. I always try and be in town so that I can exercise this right...and get that sticker! Thank goodness for the James Cardens of the world...and beyond.

Ciao Bella...good to hear your voice.

Betty said...

I'm with you, Teri, as is so often the case. And thanks for continuing to check in even during my lengthy dry spell- my realtor wanted my computer in the basement, but I just moved it back upstairs overlooking the park. Surely I'll be whirling through the blogosphere like never before....


Ken Albin said...

As a 28 year teacher I thank you for caring enough to mention a good instructor. It is rare that we see the results of our efforts or even a pat on the back.

Betty said...


I bet it's rare. Your comment reminded me of the words of another great teacher of mine from 7th grade. At that time, I thought I wanted to become a teacher. She warned me against it, saying that I'd be bending over backwards for very little reward, if any. I listened to her, and abandoned the idea. Yet nothing tears up my eyes quicker than a memory of one of my outstanding teachers, and I was blessed with many.

With appreciation for your chosen field,

Anonymous said...