Today I went to the high school to visit with Mr. Tarmey for a while. As soon as I rounded the stairwell corner and knocked on his door, he stood up and gave me the biggest hug. We situated ourselves among the desks (how different they are from the ones in college!) and we just talked and talked and talked. I told him about school, about my discontent with the theatre department but my unexpected decision not to transfer, about my roommates, about Virginia Woolf. We actually spent quite a bit of time talking about her. Being the dork that I am, I brought Mrs. Dalloway and J.M. Coetzee's Foe with me and pulled them out as our conversation turned to literature. Anyone else would likely have rolled their eyes or laughed at me, but Mr. Tarmey motioned for Mrs. Dalloway and started leafing through the book as if he had been expecting me to bring it all along. We talked about Clarissa and about Septimus, and he told me all about the film version. He made other Woolf recommendations for me, as well. I asked him about his AP classes this year. Right now, they're halfway through Beloved, and I am excited for them, because Toni Morrison changes lives with that book. I know that sounds crazy, but she changed my life, because she made me excited to write again. Mr. Tarmey says that huge U.S. corporations, in conjunction with smaller math and science foundations, are attempting to affect the way that schools run AP classes. He told me, for instance, that they are trying to encourage teachers not to assign summer reading. I think that is the biggest mistake they could possibly make, particularly because English does not equal math or science...I don't know. I think I'm rambling, maybe? In any case, Mr. Tarmey and I both agreed that ExxonMobil has little to no place attempting to rework the AP Literature system.
If Mr. Tarmey ever sees this post, he'll likely think I'm obsessed with him in a very bizarre way. I would just like to reassure him (and anyone else concerned about my sanity) that I have nothing but the deepest, utmost respect for him. He, just like Toni Morrison, changed my life and the way I look at the written word.
AHHHHHH visiting him seriously made my day, my week, my month.