StoryCorps

3:29am

Sun February 26, 2012
National Teachers Initiative

A Vietnam Vet Teaches More Than The Alphabet

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:20 am

Ron Cushman taught kindergarten and second grade for nearly 30 years. Jamie Marks, 16, is one of many students Cushman is still in touch with.
StoryCorps

Ron Cushman's journey to teaching started when he was wounded in the Vietnam War. He joined the Marines in 1968, at the age of 19. He was severely injured the following year.

"I was a scout in the Marine Corps, and I must have stepped on a land mine or a booby trap. That's all I remember," he says.

Cushman's right hand was mangled and eventually amputated.

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10:01pm

Thu February 16, 2012
StoryCorps

Professor Hits A Wall And Falls In Love

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

Gwendolyn Diaz and her husband, Henry Flores, at StoryCorps in San Antonio.
StoryCorps

Henry Flores was walking down the hallway at St. Mary's University in San Antonio when he noticed that the last office in the hallway's door was open.

"I just kind of looked inside to see who was in there, and I saw a flash of ankle, and I saw this blond hair, and I went smack-dab into the wall," says Flores, who is now a professor of political science and dean of the graduate school at St. Mary's.

It was the mid-1980s and Gwendolyn Diaz, who had just joined the university faculty, was sitting in the office.

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10:01pm

Thu February 9, 2012
StoryCorps

Scheming Parents Set Their Kids Up — And It Works

Steven and Alexandra Ketcham were brought together by their parents, who decided they would be perfect for one another. They visited StoryCorps on their wedding day.
StoryCorps

When Steven Ketcham met Alexandra Budny's mother, she told him, "I'm going to be your future mother-in-law." There was just one catch: Steven had never met Alexandra. But their parents had already decided that their children were a good match.

Eventually, Steven and Alexandra agreed with that idea. But it took some time — and those early days of their relationship came up when the couple visited StoryCorps to discuss how their parents got them together.

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10:01pm

Thu February 2, 2012
StoryCorps

Operator, Can You Help Me Call The Love Of My Life?

Jacqueline and Peter Headen live in Maryland, where they first met more than 50 years ago.
The Headen Family

Peter and Jacqueline Headen's courtship story is one of ups and downs — spanning one war, three countries and four decades. It all started in 1958, at a roller-skating rink on the Indian Head naval base in Maryland.

"I was there one night, and I saw this young lady skating around," Peter says. "And I waited for her to take a break and go get a Coke, before I made my move."

"He just grabbed my hand, rolled me around, and said, 'I'm Peter Headen. Who are you?' " says Jacqueline, who's now 68.

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3:48am

Sun January 29, 2012
National Teachers Initiative

Dropout Has Thanks, Not Blame, For Teacher

Roger Alvarez (left) did not graduate from high school, despite the efforts of his former English teacher, Antero Garcia. At 22, Alvarez still hopes to get his GED.
StoryCorps

Roger Alvarez, 22, was one of the 52 percent of students who didn't make it through his senior year at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.

He dropped out in 2007, but by the time he was in ninth grade, Alvarez says he already knew he wasn't going to graduate.

"There's a certain amount of knowledge you have to have when you enter in a specific grade, and I didn't have it," Alvarez says. "Every class I used to go in, I was like, 'Do I know this? I don't know this. Nah, I'm not going to pass this class.' "

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