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When I was a sophomore in high school I had this absolutely crazy English teacher. He was eccentric—sarcastic, rather jaded, a little off… lecherous at times—and (due to a childhood accident) had only one arm. So he definitely stood out. A lot of students thought he was a little too eccentric and avoided his classes if they could. I, of course, loved him. Partly because he was a sarcastic, jaded lecher and also partly because he took a liking to me and my writing. And all these years later, there are some moments that stick in my head from his classes.
In one class, a student—wittingly or unwittingly—included a video in his report on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum”. The video, although titled the same as the story, was a mash-up of several Poe stories and also, point of fact, soft core porn. Once that became apparent, Mr. Krueger thought for a moment, shrugged his shoulders and we kept on watching. (He would just block the screen every once in awhile).
But the one memory that will always stick out in my mind the most was during a Shakespeare class.
We were watching another movie adaptation—this time The Taming of the Shrew. And one of the first scenes in the movie focuses on a pair of violet eyes peering out from behind a window.
Mr. Krueger got up, stopped the video and—for at least a minute—stood there to make sure the class fully appreciated the impact of those eyes.
And that is how I will always remember Elizabeth Taylor.