I've lived across the street from Des Deroche for the last 11 years

November 29, 2003

I’ve lived across the street from Des Deroche for the last 11 years.  Because my Dad was a railroad man and Des is a retired railroad official, we have had that in common since the beginning.  I admire Des greatly, especially for his sustained commitment to physical fitness.  He does a brisk 5-mile walk every morning, then exercises when he gets home.  He and Irene are both top athletes, too.  Some years, one or both of them reach the national level of seniors competition in lawn bowling or curling.

I invited them to come to my Vancouver Institute talk on education last spring, but they had a family engagement and couldn’t make it (I think it was Des’ 78th birthday party or something).  This fall I gave Des an audiotape of that talk.

Yesterday morning, as I drove down the street to shop, I saw Des returning from his morning walk, and honked as I always do.  He veered from the sidewalk, crossed in front of my car, and signaled that I should stop and roll down the window.  Running in place as he talked, Des told me that he had listened to the tape twice, and taken notes each time.  “I even learned a lot about curling listening to your talk, and it reminded me of what I would do when there was a problem with the men on the railroad.  I would buy them all coffee and get them talking to each other.  Every time, they figured out what the problem was and solved it, and I didn’t need to do anything.”

That is some of the best feedback I have ever gotten on my teaching!