Musings —06.22.2011 04:01 PM—
I am so sad to read this:
What an extraordinary man he was! I know, because Kroetsch taught me in 1980, in my first year at the University of Calgary. Without getting into too much detail, I was leading a pretty rock’n’roll lifestyle in those days, and doing all kinds of things I shouldn’t have done. I missed a lot of classes and assignments, and I had rock-bottom grades to show for it.
One day, I got back an essay I had written for Kroetsch’s English class. I don’t remember the grade, but I certainly remember every word of what he wrote:
YOU ARE DESTROYING A GREAT TALENT. ROBERT KROETSCH.
I remember reading those words like they were written yesterday. They had the desired effect, too. I resolved to get my act together – so I quit what I was doing, transferred to another university, and ended up graduating in a lot better shape.
You know those teachers who change your life? Dave Beatty was one, and Father O’Brien, and George Roseme.
And Robert Kroetsch, who I will miss, and whose words I took to heart.