From the Desk of Keith Hafner

Mrs. Dunavin


Been thinking a lot about the teachers that have impacted my life. Grand Master Sell, of course.  Robert Smith and Nicholas Cokinos.

Mrs. Dunavin has been on my mind, too.  She was my 8th grade English teacher…and I certainly  wouldn’t have thought of her as my favorite teacher at the time.

She was older.  Well, okay, old.  Kind of brittle.  Very formal.

Plus, she lived right around the corner from our house on Baker Street in Dexter.  And she seemed like the kind of teacher who might just drop in on you at home to give your parents a little update on your efforts.

This was 1970 and a lot of the teaching that was going on was moving toward a softer, less rigid type of instruction.

Mrs. Dunavin, however, was having none of that.  Her approach was firmly rooted in  early 20th century methods.

And, it was just what this undisciplined, big mouthed, aspiring writer needed.

She was firm, clear, and fair.  Not warm and fuzzy,  but not unkind, either.  And it always seemed that she saw something better in me — and expected something better from me.

And she somehow made it clear that someday that potential would eventually rise to the surface.

I’ve had a lot of teachers over the decades…Martial Art teachers, of course.  Business mentors.  Professional coaches.

But Mrs. Dunavin always makes my list of favorites.