Posted on Tuesday, July 16, 2013
If you had Mrs. Wacker as a teacher, you will certainly remember many things. Just a few of the things that stick out in my mind include…
“Pithing” and dissecting earthworms, grasshoppers, and frogs.
Using microscopes to search for some elusive protozoa or amoeba (the name of which escapes me at the moment, but am certain I would know it if I heard it) in droplets of water “brewed” in our own micro swamps (buckets of swamp water, leaves, sticks, and debris left to ferment into “cesspools” of bacteria).
There was her famous slide shows from trips to the Galapagos Islands, and stories about big game hunts and African safaris.
I’ll never forget being introduced to the concept of genealogy, and how Mrs. Wacker had us build and challenged us to expand our own family trees.
Her lessons often included a television element. We would be asked to view one of several educational television shows (usually on PBS – Shows like Nature, Nova, or Cosmos) and she would have quizzes ready for us the following day.
And, let’s not forget the “World Geology Timeline” that I unearthed during a recent amateur archeological discovery (and lamented my “less than deserved” grade). That was a Mrs. Wacker project also (and so was that darn grade)!
While science was her obvious passion, she taught other academic subjects (and many non-academic lessons) as well. Mrs. Wacker was the last teacher I had that started the day off with a prayer, and had her class stand at attention to pledge allegiance to the flag each and every day. She was the teacher who made us memorize many of the formal Catholic prayers I still use to this day, and she had NO FEAR of openly and quite frankly sharing her thoughts on the subject of pre-marital sex with her students. (I recall several instances of her telling us how much she wished she could jump up and down, stomp her feet, and shout “no sex until marriage” from the rooftop – actually stomping her feet, jumping up and down, and cupping her hands like a megaphone for emphasis.)
Mrs. Wacker was a patient woman. She dealt with kids in an age group well known for their “squirreliness”, lack of maturity, and hormonal imbalances (a truly volatile combination of traits) in a kind, compassionate and understanding way yet was not afraid to discipline students that required it. I am not aware of any students that harbor any ill for having been disciplined by her.
The genuine interest she had and maintained in her students was obvious – both during their time in her classroom and well beyond. Several years after passing through the halls of Nativity, I ran into Mrs. Wacker. Not only did she remember me (by name) – but she also inquired about my sister (by name) as well.
Sadly, a few days ago Mrs. Walker was called home into the loving arms of our Lord and Savior. Yes, sadly for us – but at the same time I am grateful for her eternal freedom from the struggles and limitations she and her family dealt with for the last several years.
Thank you Mrs. Wacker.
Thank you for all you have done for me, and for all you have taught me. Thank you for all you have done and all you have taught the countless students that filled the desks of your classroom. There is a special place for an angel like you in heaven!
For those of you who knew Mrs. Wacker and are so inclined - here is a LINK to her obituary and on line guest book on Legacy.com.
Also, feel free to share any of your favorite memories of Mrs. Wacker in the comments of this blog - below!.
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