Running Into My High School History Teacher

Since I still live in Laguna Niguel, and since I still practice calisthenics in lieu of having a gym membership, I work out at Aliso Niguel High School about twice a week. The grounds have multiple pull up bars, lunch lines that are perfect for dip bars, and concrete pillars that only parkour and calisthenics enthusiasts dream about.

It’s been 10 years since I graduated high school, and I have never bumped into a teacher while exercising, but that changed tonight.

I was doing a light, warm up jog around the perimeter of the school when I saw someone from my past. I couldn’t tell for sure so I took my chance and said, “Dan? Dan Bornfeld?”

Now before I elaborate on how he responded, I want to explain who Mr. Bornfeld was to me.

Mr. Bornfeld was the AP European History teacher for all sophomores at Aliso Niguel. From my understanding, it was the most difficult class out of any class regardless of year or subject.

I didn’t take AP Euro, I didn’t even plan on going to college at this time, but I was fortunate enough to have taken a regular Euro-History class because he was doing it in tandem with a student teacher, but that teacher only lasted for one semester, so I had a whole semester with him as my main history teacher.

He was intense, but he was hands down the best teacher I had in high school, and he’s the main reason I majored in history at UCLA.

I said as much to the man who stood in front of me with a quizzical look, trying to figure out who this grizzly looking former student of his was.

The reason I felt like sharing this is because I did not have the most memorable high school experience, and there were many teachers who treated my peers and myself poorly. A few years ago I would ponder what I would say to them if I were to run into them, but now I don’t think I would say anything to them.

Yet I’ve been waiting to say what I said to Mr. Bornfeld for 10 years, and I am blessed to have finally been given that opportunity.

If you have someone in your life who’s inspired you, there’s never a bad time to tell them.

And maybe if you feel like you’ve never made a positive impact on someone’s life, perhaps that person hasn’t had the chance to tell you yet.