1. In fifth grade, my teacher was Mr. Daly
  2. He was a pretty crotchety old man. Super obsessed with red convertibles and Bob Dylan, and not that interested in actual school.
  3. He loved to tell us stories about how he only went to school to become a teacher because he wanted to dodge the draft and he wanted to study something that didn't require any chemistry or biology classes.
  4. We all loved him.
  5. One day, Mr. Daly was in a particularly edgy mood after a grueling science lab.
  6. We students were getting our Social Studies notes out, as per usual.
  7. "You know what," says he, "we're going to do something different today."
  8. He begins writing on the board.
  9. Forever later, we find that it is all the lyrics to American Pie.
  10. He plays the song off a cd that he just happens to have.
  11. He then proceeds to explain all the song lyrics, what they mean, what musical figure or event each section is in reference to. Why the symbolism works.
  12. Paying special attention, of course, to the parts with Bob Dylan.
  13. "You guys should all be taking notes. What I'm giving you right now, this is good for the soul."
  14. This is what we do for the rest of the day.
  15. It was so weird.
  16. When I graduated high school, I thanked Mr. Daly in my yearbook dedication for being one of my favorite and most influential teachers.
  17. Sometimes you have to say 'responsibilities can wait' and just embrace your passion.
  18. And if it's with an audience full of ten year olds, so much the better.