Friday, October 5, 2012

Thank A Teacher Day ~ The Late Miss Mary Riggio~ Alpha Public School

Miss Riggio not only taught us to write, but she inspired a love of great literature! Who doesn't remember how she had us all memorize the Prelude to Evangeline by Longfellow?  

This is the forest primeval.  The murmuring pines

and hemlocks,

Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct

in the twilight,

Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and pro-


Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their


Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neigh-

boring ocean

Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail

of the forest.

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts

that beneath it

Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland

the voice of the huntsman?

Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Aca-

dian farmers,

Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the


Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image

of heaven?

Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers for-

ever departed!

Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts

of October

Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them

far o’er the ocean.

Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village

of Grand-Pré

Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures

and is patient,

Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman’s


List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines

of the forest;

List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.

She took her dedication to a higher level with me. She took me under her wing, and gave me self confidence! She chose me to speak at our 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony and practiced diction with me on a regular basis.  On Graduation night she hugged me and made me feel very special!

We all memorized this song.


Many who read this will be shocked because Miss Riggio did not show her soft side very often. She was a stern disciplinarian, and a perfectionist!   Everyone got a protractor in the beginning of the year, and we all used them to make sure that every word was properly spaced on the papers we turned in.  If it wasn't perfect it was handed back to you and you promptly fixed it before turning it in again! She wanted us to do our very best!

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