Northwest NEWS

March 1, 1999


Teacher had lifelong impact on student

   A couple of weeks ago I was participating in a group warm-up exercise where I was supposed to think back to my teen years to find an adult who had an effect on me.

   I thought immediately of Mr. Knorr, who was one of my teachers in the 8th grade at W.A. Anderson. As usual, even as it is today, we would complain about things not being fair. Bob Knorr would give a funny little distant and cynical smile and say, "Who told you the world was supposed to be fair?"

   I heard that phrase dozens of times over the years until it came to signify a certain objectivity toward life and a fair degree of watchfulness that has stood me in good stead over the years.

   Recently I told that story to a teenager I was counseling. This young lady seemed to think that she could do whatever she wanted, but everyone else was constrained to obey the rules of what she thought was fair. I tried to smile that "Bob Knorr smile" as I told the story about him.

   Yesterday I read an obituary for Bob Knorr. I don't believe I ever saw him after 1955, but he had a lifelong impact on me for the good and, I hope, depending on my storytelling skills, on the lives of other youth. Thank you, Bob.

Paul Shaner, Kenmore