HUMANS OF THE PFISTER | September 2016 | Back to School edition

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016

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It’s back to school for millions of teachers and students around the country!  September’s Humans of The Pfister stories, then, will celebrate the teachers in our lives–whether ones in school, at home, at work, in our places of worship–and the teacher/mentor/guide in each of us.

As a former English teacher myself, I can’t help but look to the etymologies of words to see if they don’t have something new to teach me about them.  If one looks to the Latin educare, for instance, we learn that it means “to bring up or rear a child,” and the Latin educere means “to bring out, to lead out, or to lead forth.”

With those new concepts in mind, I’ll be talking to guests and visitors about

  • favorite (or least favorite) education memories;
  • favorite (or least favorite) teachers, mentors, guides, etc.;
  • how they way they were brought up by their parental guardians and/or teachers affected who they are today;
  • times when someone brought out the best in them, or lead them out of their ignorance or innocence, or lead them forth toward something enlightening;
  • their own Aha! or Eureka! moments;
  • “school” vs. “education”;
  • what the “School of Life” has taught them;
  • times when they have been a teacher, mentor, guide.
  • and more!

Here’s the first HOTP story for September, a story about a bride-to-be (they’re getting married tomorrow!) whose teacher saw a talent in her that she only later merged with another one of her loves.


I had a teacher in high school named Mr. Wollenwriter [she spells it out: “Maybe it was just “r-i-t-e-r”?] who had a nubby pointer finger [she curls her pointer finger to indicate that it was missing].  He had a bald head, whispy hair, a huge gut, and horn-rimmed glasses.  None of that matters, though–he was a really good teacher, my CAD/CAM teacher.  It must have been freshman year–I was 14–and I was one of the few females in the class.  I never liked math, but he saw that I was really good at interior design on the computers and tried to hook me up with a job that was somewhat related: a little ma and pa place, like a home store, you know, the ones with tools and paints.  But I wanted to be an artist.  I loved painting and drawing and ceramics; I painted a mural in my high school.  So that’s what I told him, and he pointed at me with his nubby finger [points at me with her curled up finger] and said, “Linda, you’re an ‘S’ in my book–and that doesn’t stand for ‘sweet.'”  Isn’t that funny?  All these years later and I still don’t know what that means!  “S”?!

I went to school for graphic design.  I was working for Kohl’s and I decided I wanted to make a change to a Stylist position, but departments had to give permission for you to change departments and mine wouldn’t let me.  So I waited until she was on maternity leave and made my move.  I made my own portfolio–I got fabric and other things, styled Louis Vuitton bags and photographed them, that kind of thing–and went to the main office to make my case.  They were impressed, so they told me I could have one day in the Styling department, to see what it was like.  They kept asking me back over the next three months, though, and I got the change.

Now I’m the Senior Fashion Stylist for Under Armour, making ads, layouts, and other compositions.  It’s kind of like I melded interior design from high school and the art I loved.


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