Shooting Stars & Rolling Stones


Allie’s big dimples appeared the moment she sat down. As she spoke, her green eyes sparkled and her pony tail bounced. She only had to travel a few years back to recall a teacher who made an impact on her life. Allie carried the memory of Mr. McVie, her high school astronomy teacher, with her as she navigated life on a college campus.

I was not really interested in astronomy. I needed a science credit, and Mr. McVie’s astronomy class fit into my schedule. Within the first two minutes of class, it was clear that he had two passions: astronomy and classic rock. Mr. McVie combined these two passions in a way that made all of us fall in love with comets and Led Zeppelin. He would often invite us to meet in the field behind the school late at night where he would assemble his telescope collection. Of course, he would also bring his portable speakers. I think everyone should experience a meteor shower accompanied by the Rolling Stones greatest hits at least once. Out in that field, I saw planets and constellations that I never knew existed. I am still amazed at how much resides beyond what I can see.

Now that I am in college and my high school friends are far away, I love to go outside and look up at the night sky. It makes me feel like we are all still connected. It also reminds me of how big the universe is and how small my problems really are. Sometimes as I look at the stars, I even play some Rolling Stones in honor of Mr. McVie.

It is likely that Mr. McVie had at least three passions: astronomy, classic rock and teaching. Sharing those passions created memorable moments for his students. Teachers like Mr. McVie give kids like Allie the chance to feel grounded and connected while they ascend to greater heights. How did a teacher's passion inspire you? Share in the comments below.

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