Farewell · Didi leaves

Bernd Steinhauer † – Foto: H.D. Peltzer

Somewhere the hairdresser took too much away. Somehow there’s too much in the basket that he takes with him to every class, waving it around. The basket also disrupts the seating to his left on the table in the staff room. You have to try walking next to Didi and his basket. He somehow walks too wide-legged. It takes up too much space. He doesn’t sit at the table in the staff room, but next to the half of the table he takes up, so that you can’t get past him. It can also happen that the colleague to his right only sees his back. Somehow Didi is there too much!

It’s a good thing that the colleague to his right (at the table in the staff room, not in a political sense, that would hardly be possible to still be to the right of the ‚Bild‘) has been used to dogs since he was a child; They also grab your forearm when they want to draw attention to something important to them.

Dogs do it with their snouts, Didi with their hands and snouts. Both remain bruised. There’s a bit too much Didi here too.

If the school management thinks that they can restrict Didi’s area, narrow it down a little, take away some of the space that this considerably tall and always well-protected man occupies, then they have to realize: Didi needs a lot of space, and then he can In the eyes of the school management, there was suddenly too much Didi. For example, in a role play that he organizes with the deputy or when there are questions about the meaning of a measure in the discussion of the A 15er. People had probably forgotten that Didi, as a philosopher, already had an inherent right to the question of meaning. Then they think: there is too much Didi. Didn’t the boss sometimes think that when she came into the teacher’s lounge rather brooding and she wanted to reduce her worries a little by talking to one or other of the Dammers and then giving her a friendly but far too loud “Good morning, boss “ sounds opposite?

It was blatantly obvious that Didi had one too many when his right-hand table neighbor (that’s the one with the bruises on his forearm) was hit by the transfer. But Didi really wasn’t allowed to do that! He showed feelings. First to the students, which led the deputy, who had been shaken in the above-mentioned role play, to issue a ban on not making any personal communications to the students at the next conference, since this was not in the curriculum. You certainly shouldn’t show feelings in front of the class, they’re none of the students‘ business. Didi cried in front of the students out of humanity and probably because he suspected that this kind of humanity would soon be banned by the deputy. The next day, instead of tears, the philosopher remembered his rhetorical skills, which, after decades of slumber, finally burst upon the college in full force. The power of humanity was demanded, which had to give way to the rule of the administration, known in Greek as ‚bureaucracy‘. Given the graphic images in this speech, the boss could only look away, spellbound. The deputy was missing. The college was silent in its dismay. – Here too: Simply too much Didi!

Students know Didi as a teacher who “balances the gap between the teachers who make school unpleasant” (Daniela Laufenberg, student in this year’s high school graduating class). He knows how to make students see what is important. The so-called teaching material can sometimes be neglected. – In contrast to his appearance in front of his colleagues and especially the school management, the students do not think that there is too much Didi. They wish there were more teachers who enriched everyday school life with bon mots and Pütti cookies. Not enough Didi is warned. With a good sense of what’s important in life, Didi sometimes receives emails from grateful students who encourage him not to be too much Didi. Another quote from a student in grade 11 speaks for itself: “We learned more in Latin in six months at Peltzer than we did in two years at the stupid goat” (referring to a retired colleague).

What happens when a civil servant leaves his place of work who is perceived by some as too much and by others regretfully as an example of a breed of teacher that is too rare? – We don’t know it today, nor will I, as the colleague with the bruises on my forearm, be able to observe it, since the bureaucracy mentioned above with its penchant for statistical cosmetics has sent me to another school. I fear that the school management in particular, but also other colleagues who actually can’t hold a candle to you, dear Didi, will find the unobstructed view of your regular table liberating. Finally you’re not there too much for them anymore! Other colleagues who appreciated you and your Pütti cookies will probably find themselves fatalistic in the course of life, which includes comings and goings. Maybe they’ll soon notice that your cookies symbolized you: they did good and helped. – You did good and helped.

Your students will definitely miss you. Another quote from students, this time from grade 9: “What could be worse than Peltzer and Steinhauer leaving at the same time?” It’s good for me to be mentioned in the same context as you, because students always have you in front of me only mentioned in a positive way, even if they didn’t know about our friendship. Which teacher can retire with this awareness? – My students have always thought I was good!
I will summarize my honest wish for your future by daring to gather my limited knowledge of Latin:

Transeas usque ad patriam spiritus tui: ad humanitatem et fructum bonum!

Author: Bernd Steinhauer †
In English by Mr. Dieter Richartz