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
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?