Friday, November 6, 2009

Teacher appreciation day…

Take a moment and think about your favorite teachers you've had in your life. How did they influence your life path, your style and the way you view things? Mr. Peacock has 4 favorite teachers who all had different teaching styles (and personal styles) that influenced my life (and personal style).

Mr. Burrous, my junior high school Russian (last week I mentioned my Russian medal) teacher dressed somewhat preppy, and often wore a tie (completely opposite style of my father). I know I was a difficult student too—I talked a lot in class and could be sassy (a smart aleck). Mr. Burrous had patience and was very creative with his teaching methods. He made learning a language fun and interesting. He didn’t simply regurgitate lessons out of a book either—he used creative methods to teach foreign language.

Mr. Burrous's—Inspired look click image to enlarge
1) Classic American oxblood penny loafer

2) Classic blue button-down oxford cotton shirt and striped Repp tie
3) Tortoise glass frames
4) A sleeker Italian oxblood loafer
5) Chinos

Mr. Burrous even had us play “Hollywood Squares,” in Russian of course. He also taught us about Russian culture and food. We spent an entire week (each year) making Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanky). Mr. Burrous and his wife also had a mail order store and sold pysanky supplies. Ironically, some parents didn’t allow their children to take Russian because they thought it was Communist (how stupid is that). I’m glad my parents were intelligent and encouraged me to learn.

Mrs. Ghering, my high school composition for college teacher, didn’t dress or teach like the other suburban looking teachers at my conservative high school. She wore all white (year round) in homage to Emily Dickinson. Her white ensembles always included a perfectly coiffed white wig, a white turtleneck, white slacks, white lipstick, and vintage Native American turquoise jewelry...including a ring that went over 2 fingers (sort of like brass knuckles that had a turquoise stone about 4 inches in diameter). She also often wore white or muted colored Native American woven ponchos with clear acrylic mules.

Mrs. Ghering's—Inspired look click image to enlarge
1) Native American turquoise jewelry (Mrs. Ghering's were vintage)

2) Helmut Lang hooded knit poncho
3) Sleek stretch cotton pants
4) Clear acrylic mules
5) Sterling silver double finger ring (Mrs. Ghering's had a huge turquoise stone on top)

Shakespeare really came to life in her classes. She would frequently read the different parts in character. Mrs. Ghering was inspiring both visually, and with her dynamic teaching skills. She had high expectations (which I like), and if you didn’t fulfill her expectations she would call you “a bad egg!” ...And who wants to be “a bad egg?”

My college design professor, Judy Anderson, is talented, articulate and soft-spoken. Like the women in my family, Judy’s personal style wasn’t girly or overly made-up. Her personal style was clean, comfortable and natural. She never raised her voice (unlike a few bosses I’ve had), and always gave straightforward critiques and design advice. She was also a stickler for well-crafted typography, attention to details, and problem solving. In addition to being a great designer, she’s also a dynamic artist and her artwork was also inspiring.

Judy Anderson's—Inspired look click image to enlarge
1) Boatneck t-shirt for layering

2) A soft wool t-shirt
3) Uniqlo colored skinny jeans
4) Comme des Garçons Converse sneakers

I was frequently broke in college (and frequently had some personal drama too), and on occasion tried to use that as an excuse for not giving 100% on an assignment. I remember Judy once told me, “If money is your only problem, then you don’t have any problems....” She made me push my creativity and problem solving. I still think of her when I’m on projects with tight budgets (or in my own life when I’m on a tight budget)—and push my creativity to solve problems.

Another college design professor, John Norman, stressed the importance of innovative ideas. His personal style was sort of like a sporty James Bond—good looking, tan…with a casual elegance. He always wore tinted Ray Ban style glasses that would get darker outdoors in the sun. His teaching style was somewhat loose, but he always wanted to push you to experiment and innovate with your design process and materials. In addition to his design background, he experimented with dying and printing textiles.

John Norman's—Inspired look click image to enlarge
1) Navy Wool pinstriped Harrington Jacket

2) Cargo pants
3) Black suede desert boot
4) Leather trimmed aviator glasses

I like experimenting with my process, but would sometimes quickly move on to something else if I didn’t think it was going to work. He would guide and push you to flush out ideas and see what it would lead to—even if it didn’t work. I still try to force myself to innovate, experiment and try different things and processes in my design work (and in my life too). Sometimes the ideas that don’t work lead to other ideas that do succeed.

My favorite teachers all had an enormous influence on who I am, and what I do. Mr. Peacock is grateful for the opportunity I had to learn from these fantastic teachers….and thank them for their commitment to teaching!

Who was your favorite teacher?


jason said...

I love this post!

My favorite teacher, well one of them, was Ms. Brooks, my 5th grade Language Arts teacher. She was a tall slender black woman, with a patrician voice and often a top knot of hair on her hair, usually in jersey knit wrap dress and nude shoes.

She's one of many who inspired me to become a teacher, I'm sure.

tartanscot said...

Mrs. Combs, 10th grade English. She was the first teacher to show me the magic of the language of Shakespeare, who taught me how to diagram sentences (a useless skill as an adult), and insisted that I think. and learn.

pve design said...

Oh, I have many favorites but I think the one who comes to my mind right away was my third grade teacher, Carlton Ridge. Chic, wordly, gorgeous and artistic.
Fantastic post.

The Thrifters said...

Love the Helmet Lang outfit Mr. Peacock. I would so wear that.

Grant said...

My favourite of these teacher-isnspired looks is Mrs. Ghering. I wish I could have had a teacher that dressed like that in High School!

I really love this post Mr. peacock, and I've actually linked you at my Blog referring to some books you mentioned a while ago.


Jill said...

I could totally work Mrs. Gherig's look...the lucite mules throw me off a bit...but everything else i'm going to copy soon!

Mean Dirty Pirate said...

Strange, Jason - I had a tall slender black woman, Miss Jones for 6th grade who wore a top knot and had a pinched nasal sounding imperious voice that wore Jersey. I suppose it was a 70’s teacher sort of model.

My eighth grade year was split between Bible study and Home Economics that was taught by, Mrs. Lovelady. She was chic and wore her hair in a fabulous frosted Italian top hairdo and smartly turned out Channel like suits. She was very instrumental in elocution and instructed us in phone etiquette and how to operate a sewing machine. A talent I still use today. I remember making a chef’s apron that I sewed a little Izod alligator onto and turning a little profit when I sold it.


such a creative certainly have fab* style Mr P! Fabulous Sunday!

Frontier Psychiatrist said...

Mrs. Ghering sounds amazing.

And I need to employ Judy Anderson's can do attitude and not let lack of money get in the way of my getting those Comme Des Garcons sneakers.

My favorite teacher was Dr. Gibson, a college English professor, who favored flowing clothes, huge jewelry, perfectly coifed hair, Chaucer, and mystery novels.

tula said...

mr. p! you are such a genius.

my favorite teacher was an earth mama hippie. wouldn't provide the best style layout, unless you're a fan of Birkenstocks.

can you somehow forward this post to your former schools? your teachers would be so moved and honored. xoxo

Iloveknitwear said...

I recently met my favourite teacher, and his style hasn't changed, still wearing the knitwear top, and classic teacher sandles!


As usual, a completely brilliant post! One of my style inspirations was my french teacher Madamoiselle "Je ne rappelle pas", (I don't recall her name) however, she was unforgettable. Mysteriously married or unmarried to Monsieur "Je ne rappelle pas", the male French teacher, she was cool, calm, mysterious and so elegant. We are talking thick straight to the shoulders brown hair with coy, sexy long bangs always sweeped to the side with her hand. Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dresses OR chic simple skirts and twin sets paired with either sensible loafer mid heels or mid-heel sandals that whispered sexy but just so. Lord! And so cool as a person as well.

Phyllis said...

Hello Mr. Peacock! I miss living in San Francisco. I will live vicariously through you and your great blog!
My favorite teacher was my first grade teacher, Miss Aikins, who taught us poems. On the first day of school we learned The Swing:

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Robert Louis Stevenson

This was in 1947 and I remember it still. This was the first thing we did! The next was getting a tablet and a fat pencil with no eraser! Thank you, Miss Aikins!

My favorite things to this day are paper and a good pen!

I hope you have a fine day, Mr. Peacok

kiki said...

I love this post and my favorite is the one about your composition teacher that wore all white! was she really like this?! i am so inspired by people that are true to themselves in dramatic ways! i absolutely loved reading it! thanks!

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