Press Play to start audio

January 01, 2007

Teaching Secrets


Before Frank McCourt became famous as the author of "Angela's Ashes" and "'Tis," he was for 30 years a high school English teacher in New York.  His book about that experience is "Teacher Man."

When McCourt's book tour took him to North Carolina, Dick was there to meet him at a stomping ground familiar to McCourt: a Catholic high school.  Dick watched as Frank enthralled the kids, provoked nervous laughter from the teachers, and showed everyone how to take command of a classroom. 




Shortly after she graduated, Meredith Sorenson decided to hike the Appalachian Trail - all 2,168 miles of it.

Meredith was three weeks into her journey when she met someone, or rather some thing, that changed her perspective on life.

I remember it was a very sunny day, and there are these shelters along the Appalachian Trail, so I had pulled into a shelter, and taken out a granola bar. And I was leaning against the shelter, eating this granola bar, relishing each bite...

Much to her surprise, the small creature she encountered changed the way she looked at life.


Mervin Jenkins was heading for disaster as a young man. His life was dominated by drugs, and hanging out with his ultra-macho friends. His biggest dream was to become a rap star. But one day, a homeless man in the neighborhood called Mervin over. The man lectured Mervin on his reckless life. Something struck home, and Mervin had a series of turnaround moments. He veered away from the probability of living life behind bars, and eventually became a middle school principal. His conversation with Dick ends with the freestyle rap of Principal Mervin Jenkins.

You might also like…

Daily Story Update

Get daily updates and special announcements about The Story.

Produced by

WUNC North Carolina Public Radio 91.5 logo