Flash from the Past

Grace Beach, Editor

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On Tuesday October 10, Mr. Blaine Williams visited Seymour High School for his annual day in Mr. Perry’s classes. Williams was a student in Perry’s 96-97 seventh grade English class at Centerville Junior High School and after reconnecting at a basketball game in 2012, they agreed to do an exchange in each others classes. Williams comes annually, and Perry is set to visit Greenwood sometime in the future, to be determined at a later date.

Williams is currently an English and Film Lit teacher at Greenwood High School where he used to coach football and now coaches track and cross country. Williams credits his first desire to become a teacher to Perry, saying “I think just becoming a teacher in general had a lot to do with being in Mr. Perry’s class.” According to Williams, seventh grade was the first time he had male teachers, and it was “the first time I saw that men could be in this profession too.” As for becoming an English teacher, “I was always just good at reading and I enjoyed it. I took some classes in college, and I enjoyed those as well.”

The pair of English teachers have been doing this ever since they reconnected in 2012, when Perry was still teaching at Brownstown. Williams said the fateful basketball game was Brownstown vs. Southport, where Perry was there to support his team, and Williams himself was there just to watch the game because it was near where he was living. Perry explained, “He came to me first. I came to watch Brownstown, and I didn’t even know he was teaching at that point until he told me. We liked each other’s schools; so we decided to just do this exchange thing.”

During Perry’s second block, Speech, Williams opened class with an impromptu speech about mothers and then had the class polish and praise the speech, giving him positive and negative feedback. Marcegui Vasquez, a junior in the Speech class, explained, “He provided a good example for us because he showed us how to deliver a good impromptu speech and made a lot of students realize  we’ll all grow up eventually. Seeing someone Mr. Perry had at some point and realizing that might be us someday in the future made me want to pay attention to everything I learn.”

During Perry’s English classes, Williams always teaches the same sonnet by Jonathon Keats, “On First Looking Into A Chapman’s Homer” because according to Perry, “I was reading a book and the book was the inspiration for Field of Dreams, Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, which may have honestly been a recommendation from Blaine (Williams). There’s a reference to the sonnet in the book, and I had never heard of the sonnet but I had heard of Keats. I asked Blaine and he said he remembered studying it in college.” Williams said that he enjoys talking to Perry’s English classes because that’s his subject.