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Mr. R. D. Wade

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I hadn’t realized the power of the pen until I saw my first paper returned in Mr. Wade’s English class. In that instant I thought his red ink pen had exploded on my paper, spewing its glistening medicine all over my amateur literary essay; the ink hadn’t spilled, though. Mr. Wade had written another essay for me between the lines of mine, critiquing, analyzing, suggesting. He had spent just as long or longer matching the effort I put into his assignment, clearing the longest stretch in the tangled path to effective writing. Again and again for every assignment, Mr. Wade waded through my thoughts. It was then that I realized that I think on a higher level if my foundation -- my writing -- is clear and strong.

During the two semesters of reading, analyzing, and writing under Mr. Wade, I learned to communicate with literature and other literary critics. This was a kind of fun I hadn’t seen before and would not have ever seen if Mr. Wade didn’t start the silent conversation. Everything I write now seems like dialogue, or an echo or argument to a past work.
So much was I sparked in English that I began to experiment with words and thoughts, mixing and twisting until I fell in love with philosophy. I had always liked the area of thought and natural occurrences, but I had never meshed what I like with my assignments before. Mr. Wade’s idol was Aristotle, the great thinker. He explained to all those who would listen the philosopher’s ideas and principles with an admiration that truly brought me out of my shell.

With his own money at the end of the year, Mr. Wade bought every single one of his students a copy of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. To aid my new found pursuit of phenomenology and epistemology in particular, Mr. Wade gave me The Power of Now. How many doors he went out of his way to open for me is overwhelming and I will be forever grateful.

Most of all, Mr. Wade treated us 13- and 14-year olds like college students. Lectures were and open discussion were predominant. This was the utmost level of respect he could show, and the last day in his class was depressing. His quiet, understanding, and simple personality has profoundly changed me; one of the most humble things I remember him saying was rather trivial in mater: a student had asked if Mr. Wade did not like another student because of her continuous nagging and interruptions, and in response he said that he cannot judge, but he might not agree with her behavior at times. This wasn’t evading the question; it simply reveals the potential he sees in us and how much happiness he gets from seeing his students cultivate established knowledge independently.





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