I think it's pretty rare to be able to say that you've had the same teacher for four classes in high school. I think it's also pretty rare to be able to say that that teacher had a profound and lasting effect on who you are as a person.
I wish I could have been around for his last year teaching. One of my all-time favorite teachers, who taught me for three years of my high school career and helped to shape my views of life, choices, technology, English literature, and the importance of play in learning, is retiring this week.
While I may have graduated last year, I am actually deeply saddened that no future students will have the experience of him touching their lives. Teaching them about the uselessness of Classics majors, how to be "brief but brilliant," to never start a sentence with "however," that all literature is about sex and death, and that a good gifted class reading ends with everybody dying or the Singularity.
He taught me how to say the things worth saying, to really fall in love with the work I was doing, and that sometimes the best projects are ones that you write the night before in a fit of brilliant inspiration. Also, that sometimes everyone decides to kill off their main character.
Remember Elpenor. Sleeping with a sword between yourself and that special someone. The Sick Rose. Childhood's End. Alexander Rybak.
...You will be missed.