WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2016-2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/745407

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Page 89 of 211

who became an English Professor at the University of Virginia, said, "I have a feeling that many of us are still trying to please Mr. Crockett." This man of fierce intellect and rock-solid integrity also became our moral North Star. Everything was intertwined: I'm not quite sure how he led us from Sophocles to the Vietnam War, from Milton to desegre- gation, but he did, and it resonated. We still have within us those val- ues of social responsibility that we forged with him in that room, in that self-contained universe of discovery and possibility. This is the man who wrote in my yearbook, "and let there be no purpose in life save the deepening of the spirit." Students often stayed with him for all three years—English 21, 31, and 41. Later, his course was "The Relationship of Art, Music, and Literature." There were no grammar lessons, no quizzes on facts, and he was appalled by the very concept of teaching to a test. Each year he challenged his students to write a "thesis," a college-level immersion into an aspect of literature—not a research paper but reasoned, origi- nal thinking. He only marked down for lazy scholarship. He required that we obtain and use Wellesley College library cards; that we show up every day prepared; that we show respect to our classmates and to the literature; and, most especially, that we question everything, especially ourselves. He taught what he loved: ancient Greek literature, Dante, Chaucer, Dostoevsky, Thoreau, Yeats, Eliot, and also the most exciting new modern drama—anything that made us think. C O U R T E S Y O F D E B O R A H C R O C K E T T - R I C E Mr. Crockett with his beloved daughter Deborah Crockett-Rice My father was so generous of spirit and knowledge, and ultimately believed in the goodness of human beings. He imbued his classes with unfaltering wisdom and support of the pursuit of knowledge. His legend will always live on through his students and generations to come. Having been his daughter, and experiencing his love and support as a father, I will always feel blessed. 88 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 6 / 2 0 1 7 C O U R T E S Y O F W E L L E S L E Y A N Y E A R B O O K Wilbury Crockett in his Wellesley High classroom 206 Wilbury Crockett

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