Wednesday, November 9, 2011

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: High School Teachers

Keeping with the theme of High School for Week 45 of 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, here are a couple photos (taken by Mark) and stories from Mark's high school days on Guam.

Francis Howard Hildebrand (above left, born 1929?) was Mark's algebra teacher his junior year.  The back of the photo says, "Our buddy, Mr. Hildebrand."  According to Mark, he didn't learn much algebra, but Hildebrand told great stories about being a P-38 pilot in World War II. There was a photo of Hilbebrand in the faculty section of the 1958 Gecko yearbook, but not 1956 or 1959 (Mark does not have a copy from 1957).  Apparently Hildebrand returned to the States and earned a Master of Science in the Teaching of Mathematics from the University of Illinois in June 1959, and went on to write some math books.

Alvin L. Ratzlaff (above right, 1904-1978) was Mark's chemistry and physics teacher, and was in all three yearbooks. One story Mark tells about him goes like this:
One day Ratzlaff spilled potassium on his desk  Normally it is stored in kerosene (or another hydrocarbon), which isolates it from oxygen and keeps it inert.  While he was lecturing, pieces of potassium would "poof" into flame, and Ratzlaff would "clunk" his hand down to put the fire out.
Ratzlaff was a World War II veteran, and had a masters degree from Columbia University.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

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