Teacher Appreciation Day. Mr. Battaglia.

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I’ve written about Mr. Battaglia before.

Mr. Battaglia at Fairfax High School in L.A. We met again a few years ago at a get together of friends from the class of ’66.

I was not an easy student and when Mr. Battaglia assigned us each to select and read a poem to the class I chose Allen Ginsburg’s Howl which I was certain would get me sent, once again, to the principal’s office. Our principal then was Jim Tunney, later to become head ref for the National Football League.

When I was done, Mr. Battaglia said nothing but called me up at the end of class and opened his desk drawer and pulled out a copy of Andre Malraux’s Man’s Fate, 350 pages translated from the French about the Chinese Revolution. “Let me know what you think,” he said. “By Monday. We will talk about it.”

It got me to read Malraux’s Man’s Hope, about the Spanish Civil War on my own.

A great teacher.

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