The Thurmanator and his legacy


Gabi Altinok, Staff Writer

Journalism. It is such an amazing thing that I never took the chance to look at before my high school career, and the one person who changed my life was Journalism and English teacher Edward Blair Thurman.

Now, I normally wouldn’t be writing this if it were not for the horrific, gruesome, and devastating news that unfortunately, he will be leaving us after this year. I’m going to be honest, I most definitely am somewhat biased because he is my favorite teacher, but he would be yours too if you got to experience the amazing honor of being taught by the Thurmanator!

It all started in freshman year, my worst school year yet, when I had to attend school virtually for the majority of the time. I dreaded the long and boring Zoom calls that would entail for the entirety of my day that was spent in my bedroom. However, one of them wasn’t so boring after all.

Although I cannot remember my very first zoom meeting in his class, I quickly learned after many Zoom calls that my 9th grade English class would be anything but ordinary.

Whether it be him playing rock and roll before class started, funny prank videos, god-awful tattoos, or any other slightly off-putting image that he could find from the uncanny valley, Thurman never failed to amaze me (you just had to be there).

Even though his class’s humor lit up my day, we still always got our work done and I never left class without having learned his vocab word of the day, or popularly misunderstood phrases that he just had to make clear. It’s not “I could care less,” it’s “I couldn’t care less!”

Thurman also introduced me to this funky song that for some reason stuck with me all throughout freshman and sophomore year, which is called “Fish Heads” by Barnes & Barnes. Don’t ask me why, but something about the sweet symphony of that song really speaks to me on a personal level. Trust me, give it a listen.

After I had delved into the inner workings of “Romeo and Juliet” and poetry, he somehow convinced me to take on journalism. It didn’t take much convincing, however, because the only thing holding me back was my self-doubt and fear of being not good enough. I owe it all to Thurman.

Journalism, and being a staff writer for The Page have been one of the most impactful things in my sophomore year. Interviewing students, teachers, and other staff has caused me to grow in ways I never thought I could. Meeting these new people and being challenged to make connections into a story turned me from a once socially awkward and quiet kid, into a staff writer who loves meeting new people.

Though it is a known and proven fact that I am his number one supporter, his charisma and silliness has spread and charmed dozens of his other subjects, some being my close friends.

His going-away surprise party was planned by both Hailey Brown and Raelene Ambrose, as well as several other students who wanted to pay their respects to a totally tubular teacher.

Although PA will not be the same without him, The Page shall still live on into the years to come and I still recommend taking it on, even though you may be nervous (we all have been there). His legacy will go on into the future, and it is the job of future staff writers to ensure that. Huzzah!

I could go on and on about how stupendous of a teacher he is, but this is starting to feel like a Fox News article. This all feels very bittersweet to me and I am so thankful that I got to spend my first two years of high school being taught pure awesomeness. As I once heard from a wise man, remember to use the serial comma!