13 responses to “Nostalgia! My high school English teacher”

  1. Dave Engle

    very true Rob, probably the best teacher we ever had.

  2. Barbara Fishbaugher

    Rob, I remember reading Pygmalion(sp?) in Ingersoll’s class and the two of us were chosen to read the main characters. We had great fun reading aloud and really got ‘into’ it. My oldest sister, Betty (Liz now) followed in Rena Ingersoll footsteps and became an English teacher. Liz teaches Creative Writing at Punahou (the high school from which Obama graduated). I think Liz is a next generation Ingersoll and I am proud of her abilities! I also remember you eating an entire meal, which was hidden behind your book, in Mrs. Miller’s English class. You won a bet on that trick as I remember!

  3. Marlene Ryan Tyler

    Thanks, Robbie. What a awesome tribute!

  4. Jan Storhoff Weber

    Robbie, You hit the nail on the head! She was intimidating, but her love of literature and language was obvious. I remember her reading your essay on the fact that you couldn’t come up with a topic to write about and the clock was ticking and you were running out of time…..it was clever! Despite everything, I loved her class, and it was great preparation for college. She wrote on one of my essays, “I expect to hear this as an original oratory piece at declam contest,” and, of course, she did. How could I say no? And, yes, you did control yourself and behave in her class!! The consequences of misbehaving would have been humiliating. Remember the alphabetical order: Severson-Soma-Storhoff.

  5. Arlan

    Great story. What a lesson. Learn how to communicate. The accounting supervisor and typist said it best thanks to your teacher.

    Keep writing!

  6. Peter Edis

    I really enjoyed reading this, Rob. While I could not have known Rena Ingersoll, I was fortunate to have had a professor in college that was similar to her in temperament. Ironically, I also learned a great deal from him.

    As a young man who had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, I procrastinated in going to college and then took my time registering for classes. As a result, I ended up with Mr. John Whiting for freshman English. He was well known by reputation as one of the toughest professors at the school.

    To give you an idea of what he was like; I can still remember the day he became so frustrated with students walking in late, he decided to lock the classroom door at 8a when it started and refused to let anyone in after that. Mr. Whiting also hated it when students fell asleep in his class. Without warning one day, he slammed a large book down on a desk next to a snoozing student. While he made his point, he intimidated the entire class in the process. The interesting thing about Mr. Whiting is that he would also go out of his way to help struggling students as long as they genuinely wanted to learn.

    I will always be grateful for the interest he showed in me, the time and patience he invested in helping me, and the passion he demonstrated for the subject matter; not to mention the skills I gleaned from him that helped me through the rest of my college career. In fact, I still reflect on things I learned from him.

    Thank you for your piece on Rena Ingersoll and for reminding me of Mr. Whiting.

  7. Wally Trouten

    Rena B. Ingersoll! What a special lady/special teacher. She lived in Cresco where her husband ran an implement business. When I was in elementary school I would catch rides with her to go visit my cousins that lived in her neighborhood. But when it came to teaching English, well she was really awesome! My interest in the subject was nonexistant after a not so good Junior English class. With her encouragement, and her challenging me, I actually was able to not only get decent grades, but learned a lot. I can still quote Shakespere that I learned in her class. She is one of the people that made ME a better teacher!!

  8. Donna Snow (Bruner)

    I remember Mrs. Ingersoll, but those years were such a blur.I did well in English because of her expectations. It is amazing how you remember one particular teacher, but in my case, can’t remember much else.

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