Growing up in Edina, Minnesota, in the ’70s and ’80s, I had a lot of great teachers, including Claudia Lawrence (back then she was Mrs. Bisanz), Marc Reigel, Delores Heyer, Ursella Costello, Birgit Anderson, Joan Schultz, Madame Stefan, and more. They all deserve loud and sustained shout-outs. But the one I’ll mention here — not because she was a better than the others, but because she’s so representative of them — is Barbara Hare, teacher of Greek Way, an elective English class about Greek mythology (whose principal text, of course, was Edith Hamilton’s The Greek Way).
Mrs. Hare loved the subject matter with remarkable, irresistible intensity. This woman was a prim blue-blood with a helmet of hair, an elegantly sober wardrobe, and a rigid sense of propriety. From a financial perspective, I’m pretty sure she didn’t need to teach (she lived on a quasi-estate in neighboring Wayzata), but she was a born educator on a mission from God (sorry, the gods) to make sure her students understood just how friggin’ awesome Greek mythology was.