Average Jane

Goodbye Mighty Muss

Goodbye Mr. Musgrove

The world lost one of its finest last week. His name was John Musgrove. He taught in the social studies department of my high school. He was the teacher everyone loved and dreaded all at the same time. Mr. Musgrove’s exams were nearly impossible. If you didn’t cheat you failed, but it wasn’t a secret that this was common practice. His joy was not in watching us fail, but rather in watching us struggle to learn the material that he was so passionate about.

He was a passionate teacher, a man of the book. If it existed he read it. Volumes upon volumes graced the walls of the classroom. He lectured not from powerpoint slides, overheads, or videos. He lectured from the heart, speaking in anecdotes as if he were there himself. He told us once of a great leader who strangled himself. I let out a great laugh and everyone turned and stared. I wanted to explain how you can’t strangle yourself, but instead, I let it be a moment between teacher and student.

I’ll never forget him. I’ll never forget how he made me learn to love history and inspired me to love to learn. I’ll never forget his bonus test on which he handed us the homework from the night before and made us fill in the answers again. I got 100%. I remember his 10 lb bathroom pass that he insisted we carry to the loo. I remember his pants that were always a little too tight inspiring us to call him ‘stout’ even at 6’5”.

He inspired even the laziest students to do more; to be more. He will be missed. He was only 57.


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