The first time I learned about his heart was when we were getting ready to enter report card grades. He showed me grades of a girl and asked if I would pass her. Just looking at the data I didn't think she should pass. He looked again and decided to pass her, based on classwork. I knew he was okay then.
I had the honor of sharing a room with him several terms. I saw the care he put into each lesson. I saw the special projects he had the students do to help them understand and I saw the special relationship he developed with them. He even got into a major fight with his AP when it came to finding books for his students to use. He never hesitated putting himself on the front to help them.
This man also loved a good ping pong game. He stayed late to supervise student games, giving them tips and beating them when he could. His only reward was the joy he got from being with them.
I really got to know this man when we both were assigned the job of scanning regents exams. We had a long wait and spent an entire day together. He taught me a bunch of Chinese proverbs, things he used to send our former AP to make a point. We laughed and had fun but also got the job done as efficiently as possible.
I remember discussing with him how different people were when they came from foreign lands and how their expectations and behavior towards others was often a product of their early environment. He told me he was now an American and adjusted to live and think like one. He had no respect for those who came here and could not break loose.
We met one night in the college and I told him about how difficult my students found factoring. He showed me a fool proof method I had never seen. To this day I use it is one I use and my students love.
This wonderful man only got to enjoy one year of retirement before passing on. Words can't express the sorrow in my heart knowing I will never get the benefit of his wisdom.
RIP. If there is an afterlife, you will have a great one to reward you for all the good you did here on earth. You will be sorely missed.