Thank you, Mr. Norris
Many years ago, in grade 10, I think, Mr. Norris taught Euclidean geometry. His enthusiasm for the
subject was infectious. At the end of each class he would pose an optional homework problem and anyone who solved
the problem could present their solution at the blackboard in the following class. You could
tell early in the presentation whether a student's solution was correct because Mr. Norris' eyes
would twinkle with delight.
I spent many delightful evenings working on his problems and if I managed to present my
solution at the blackboard and watched him glow with pleasure and heard him say,
"Now that's a solution I haven't seen before" ... then I felt ten feet tall.
Mr. Norris' diagrams were the most colourful I've seen. Lines and triangles and circles in
red and green and blue. He was justly proud of his presentations, yet Mr. Norris was
colour blind. He would periodically approach a student in the front row with a hand full of
coloured chalk and whisper, "Which one is green?" Then he would march to the board, draw a
bold, red line and announce, "This green line is the median," and many in the class
would laugh, but it did not discourage his use of colour. I never laughed.
It was cruel and I soon went early to class so I could sit
in the front row and correctly identify the coloured chalk.
I have long since forgotten most of my teachers, but I will never forget Mr. Norris.
He was inspiring and inspired and loved his subject.
Thank you, Mr. Norris.