My youngest son recently challenged me to dump a bucket of ice on my head to help spread awareness for ALS, a debilitating disease that famously claimed the life of Lou Gehrig. While I have no intention of inducing an ice headache, I would like to make a public promise to make a donation to the ALS Association in the name of a former mentor and colleague, John Goodson.
I was a first-year teacher when I met John, a guidance counselor who was already struggling with the late stages of the disease. Wheelchair bound, he remained a productive member of our high school community, even after he could no longer hold a pencil. He had a brilliant mind with a lively, dry wit, and he helped me navigate a challenging year for a twenty-two year-old fresh out of college. And while the phrase has become a cliche, John truly was a role model for his colleagues and students. I think of him often, but especially as this campaign takes the internet by storm.
A long overdue thank you, John, but this bucket's for you.