Dear Mr. Keating,
I never got the chance to tell you that you were my favorite teacher.
Yes, I know you were only my teacher for 2 and 1/2 hours. But seeing as I watched you teach cute prep boys at least 25 times, I have been in your class for at least 75 hours.
Every time I visited your class, I was inspired to read poetry, to suck the marrow out of life, to remember that one day I would be food for dandelions and above all to Seize the Day.
Because of your class, I tried to walk with my own gate, change my perspective and to embrace my dreams.
You had a compassion and perception toward your students that I always imagined you had towards me. You inspired me to love language, to think, and not use the word “very.”
You had an energy for teaching and passion for liturgy that inspired me to open the works of Whitman, Keats and Bronte.
Thank you, Mr. Keating.
I hear that you are gone. I hear that you were terribly sad and felt you could not face the demons in your life. You know, many of your students have felt the same. You were never alone in your darkness.
I wish you knew what a difference you made in so many lives. Your humor. Your compassion. Your understanding of humanity.
There will never be anyone like you.
Unless we become more like you.
Unless we push the boundaries and allow ourselves to be silly and candid, goofy and vulnerable, compassionate and inspired.
I will seize the day, Mr. Keating.
I will seize the day.
I will seize it for you.
O Captain! My Captain!
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
|The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;|
|The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,|
|While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:|
|But O heart! heart! heart!||5|
|O the bleeding drops of red,|
|Where on the deck my Captain lies,|
|Fallen cold and dead.|
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
|Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;||10|
|For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;|
|For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;|
|Here Captain! dear father!|
|This arm beneath your head;|
|It is some dream that on the deck,||15|
|You’ve fallen cold and dead.|
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
|My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;|
|The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;|
|From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;||20|
|Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!|
|But I, with mournful tread,|
|Walk the deck my Captain lies,|
|Fallen cold and dead.|