Monday, May 14, 2012

Reflections: Gerry Benedict

I haven't posted to my blog for quite some time. After my last post I was busy with teaching and preparation for a one-week trip to Heidelberg, Germany in April. I went there to teach a class in Cross Cultural Communication at a US Army base as part of the master's degree program in International Relations through the University of Oklahoma. I have done this sort of thing many times over the past ten years. It was spring in Germany when I was there, with cherry, crabapple, wild cherry, and other trees in bloom. Spring flowers such as tulips and lilacs were out. It was very beautiful and reminded me of springtime in Upstate New York. I'll post some pictures later.

After my return I spent a couple of weeks in Macau to finish the semester. Then with finals graded returned to Norman, Oklahoma. So that's a brief update on my travels.

What inspires me to post is the sad news of the passing of one of my high school teachers, Gerald "Gerry" Benedict. (I learned about this through a posting on Facebook.) He was the coach of our high school Cross Country team. And he was in great shape. His routine was to run from his home in the countryside, about 14 miles from the high school, to school. Then he would teach all day. In the afternoon he would go on runs with us, usually 8-12 miles. Then afterward he would run home. Quite a workout. But he was humble and lived a simple life. You can learn more about him from his blog:

http://www.chendrashakersworld.blogspot.com/

Coach Benedict was clearing a trail in the Catskill mountains. When his partner cut down a branch from a tree, it fell onto another tree that then fell on him. He passed away due to injuries from the accident.

I wish I had been able to see him in recent years. This humble man, teacher, and Coach, influenced me to be a better person. My condolences to his wife, children, and family.