Tuesday, September 7, 2010

St. Cassian of Imola (? to Aug. 13, 363)

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
(Henry Brooks Adams)

We all have a favorite teacher who gave us the confidence to follow our dreams and reminds us of our childhood. Mine was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Donovan.
When I was 8-years-old, she told me that I could make a living as a writer if I went to college and studied English and creative writing (which I ended up doing because of her). I was ecstatic about that and, for the entire year in her class, I wrote short stories and plays that the students performed.
I was inspired by what she taught me and loved that language arts focused on the holidays and seasons. It was so much fun to go to school because Mrs. Donovan was my teacher.
Although she never talked about it much, she grew up in California and her father was a screenwriter who co-wrote "Leave it to Beaver," "The Munsters," and the Amos 'n' Andy radio show. She went trick-or-treating as a child at Frank Sinatra's house.
I often hear educators say that if they could make a difference in just one child's life, then their career as a teacher was worth it. I wish Mrs. Donovan knew that she had a profound influence on me.
St. Cassian of Imola (Italy) was a school teacher who refused to worship Roman gods so was sentenced to death by the emperor Julian the Apostate. The situation was unique in that St. Cassian of Imola's students were the ones who killed him and they did it eagerly since he had punished them on many occasions.
On Aug. 13, 363, St. Cassian of Imola was bound and stabbed to death. His feast day is Aug. 13 and he is a patron saint of teachers.

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