**Written as a follow-up to this piece.
I will not speak about him
in the past tense
unless I’m describing an action of his
that occurred in the past.
He suggested I read Pride and Prejudice out loud
the next time I read it. (I did.)
He told me to repeat myself in class
because I’d managed
to say something smart
(the first time I said it, anyway).
He asked me more questions
than I can remember
(and I’m still answering some of them).
He gave me a book
almost every time I saw him —
“Here,” he said, handing me Plato’s Republic —
“read something useful.”
Yet I have to admit this truth —
But I will not say he “was”
because he has not stopped being.
He is the man who changed our lives.
He is the one who taught us,
believed in us.
He is the teacher who saw our potential
and pushed us to rise to meet it.
He will be a part of who we are,
what we notice, how we react —
What is the whatness of a man?
Peter W. Schramm.