Most of us have had at least 13 years of schooling. Some of us then went on to continue our schooling for four more, sometimes 5, and some even 6 or 7 more years. But that’s not the point of this post. Throughout our 13, 17, 18, or 20 something years of schooling, we have many teachers. They come and they go, some are forgotten, some remembered, but the very special ones are treasured. Everyone has a list (short or long) of teachers that have made an impact on their lives. Throughout my 17 years of school I can think of about 15 teachers that really stood out to me and affected my life in a positive way. Whether through what they taught, or just the attitude towards life and towards teaching, they will always be remembered. The sad thing is this. About 7 of the teachers on my list were from grade school, and there is no way to contact them and tell them the impact they made on me and on who I am today. However, back to the main focus of this post, if this man didn’t know the way he affected his students, then he was a huge brat.
It’s with a heavy heart that I write about Mr. Vecchio. The most amazing history teacher I ever had. Don’t ask me who was who in what war and who killed whom, for that I do not remember. His gifts went so much further than just historic knowledge. Mr. Vecchio was never just a teacher. He was a friend (as much as a teacher was allowed to be a friend) he was a confidant, a coach, and so much more. When you were having a bad day, you knew exactly where you could go to have a smile put on your face, even if the reason you were smiling was because your teacher just called you a brat, which he did…alot. I don’t think I ever had a teacher that had such a great love of teaching, he always had a positive attitude, and through that found a way to keep his 20 high school students attention for 45 minutes (most of the time.) It’s safe to say that anyone that attended the high school while Mr. Vec was a teacher there was affected by him. Whether you had him for class or not, you knew him, he knew you, and he had some sort of impact on your life.
I am somewhat shocked at how much his death has affected me. I mean, I haven’t seen him in almost 6 years. However, as I sit and read the stories and memories people have left on the facebook page in his memory, I find myself wiping away tears. Each person has their own specific memories, however when all written down, most of us had the exact same experiences. Most of us remember being called a brat nonstop, being asked why your parents haven’t disowned us yet, getting extra points on our tests for writing GO NAVY at the bottom, constant talk of hate for Jane Fonda, random conversations about completely random (yet somehow relevant) things, and tea time with Mr. Vecchio (aka detention.) To someone who doesn’t know him, they may think a teacher calling you a brat is odd, or maybe even wrong. To them I say this, you had to know him to understand, and if you knew him you would totally understand, as well as love him even more for it. I hope you are resting in peace Mr. Vec. You truly were one in a million person and you will forever be missed by the students that were lucky enough to know you.
Yea, I know I am making a stupid face, but I remember this night like it was yesterday. It was at the end of the Senior Boat Trip and my friends and I had borrowed (or stolen off his head, take your pick) Mr. Vecchios hat for fun and decided to take some pics with it. Go Navy Baby!!
Rest In Peace Mr. Vecchio. GO NAVY!