Teacher’s Pet: Mr. Tom Reithmann
By Michael Ahearne ’14
Ms. Karp’s Question from February’s “Teacher’s Pet”: If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the world what would it be?
I guess if we could have universal respect for people. That would take care all the unhappiness we have, competition between nations, competitions between religions and gender inequalities and economic inequalities. That would be the one thing that if we can do that, the world would be a happier place.
What did you want to do when you were a child?
Well, when I went to college, the goal of the school was to make teachers; it was a teacher-orientated college. It became something that I was interested in.
Where did you go to college and what did you major in?
I went to Marist College, which is a relatively small college in New York state, about 90 miles north of New York City. It’s a Catholic college, but they had an academic idea called da Vinci, where they want people to have a full education, to understand history, philosophy, science, mathematics and language. And because they wanted people to have such a broad spectrum of knowledge, that’s why it was relatively easy to switch majors, because you didn’t specialize in one thing. Relatively small but academically good, and I think they turn out good people.
What inspired you to teach?
I think teaching is very important for the continuation of civilization. The older people teaching the newer people what to do. We don’t make youngsters learn how to tie a shoe by themselves. The older generation should pass their knowledge down onto the younger generation.
Do you have any hidden secret talents that you would like to tell?
I like to work with my hands and I try to keep myself in shape besides being 72 years old. I recently, these last few years, because of my son’s involvement with the Air Force Auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol, have been doing a lot of stuff with the cadets. I still enjoy watching basketball. I coached basketball for many years, both at Brophy and New York City. I was fortunate that I had a lot of very good basketball players, a number of which went on to play in the NBA and Olympics.
Pose a question for the next teacher’s pet:
Well, since I changed majors five times in college, I went from history, which I am still very interested in, to theology to philosophy to physics and finally math. I would like to ask the next teacher if they had a different major in college, what would be the effect on their life.