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Akron, Ohio



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Manchester High School
437 West Nimisila Road
Akron, OH 44319
(330) 882-3291


Robert Farkas --  Class of 1964
  Teacher at Manchester Middle School



I'm a bachelor and still enjoying it. My dad passed away, but my mother and her cat are still doing well. As the T.O.M.I.T.S. (the old man in the system) when it comes to teacher seniority, I'd claim over 4,000 kids (my students), but none of them share my DNA. Many of them have in one way or another become almost like a child of my own without the dirty diapers, college tuition, and income tax break. We've shared good times and bad, six-square and volleyball, and the book The Day of the Triffids. Best of all are the ones who have become lifelong friends. I am truly blessed.

Location history:

I lived in Akron until 1953 when I moved to Manchester. After that it was Kent for college, back to Manchester for a few years, on to Massillon, and finally to Canal Fulton.

Education after MHS:

I have a Bachelors Degree from Kent State, a Masters from Kent State, extra hours at both Kent State and Akron U, and a balding head from teaching.

Occupation history:

When I interviewed for my job at Manchester, they were looking for a teacher who could teach both home economics and English. Needless to say, I wasn't qualified. Three weeks later Mr. Nolley called me back for an English position; and I was interviewed by my junior high principal, my senior high principal, and Mr. Nolley. I ended up being one of the last two teachers Mr. Nolley hired.

Over the years I have taught seventh and eighth grade English, spelling, reading and literature.

Favorite teaching memories:

Some of my favorite memories are when some of the students and teachers called NASA and tried to talk to the last Apollo astronauts on the moon to wish them a safe trip home. (NASA wouldn't cooperate, but we tried.) Another memory was being the spelling bee coach for at least thirty-five years. Who could forget when another teacher who had a hearse took five students and me to Columbus to see the semi-final game when Manchester went on to win the state basketball championship in 74? (I guess riding in that hearse meant we were dying to see the game.) Finally, and perhaps best of all, were the looks of joy when a student understood a difficult concept or realized he or she was really a "keeper."

Favorite teaching colleagues thru the years:

I've had too many first-class colleagues to single out one or two, yet I believe those in the middle school now are some of the best educators in the state.

Some interesting things youve done since graduation:

Since high school I've ridden in a Packard at 125 miles an hour; run a diesel locomotive in Maryland; had railroad-related photographs appear in books, magazines, and newspapers; photographed a beauty pageant for a newspaper; had railroad-related video released as part of commercial railroad videos and DVD's; flown in a Ford tri-motor; and had a great time wandering a northern hemisphere landmass on a small class M planet circling a yellow star in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Hobbies / Activities:

Besides teaching at MMS, I enjoy working with the K-5th graders at Manchester Christian Church, being a member of the Akron Railroad Club, and playing lunchtime volleyball with my students.

Favorite teachers at Manchester:

My two favorite teachers at Manchester were my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Stump, who loaned me his library card so I could read adult-level books from the bookmobile; and Mrs. Scott, who had me for more high school classes than any other teacher and believed in me 100%.

Favorite / Least favorite subjects:

My favorite subject in high school was reading, and my least favorite was algebra.

Least favorite HS memory:

My least favorite memory from high school was walking into the old library, being told President Kennedy had been shot, and finding myself one of the few students who knew the President had been assassinated. (This information was not given to the other students until the end of the day.)

Class reunions youve attended:

As for reunions, I haven't gone to any of mine. Rumor has it that my classmates are getting old, and I don't want to confirm this about myself.

Favorite music, then and now:

My favorite music from my high school days was movie soundtracks. Now its Christian, jazz and folk.

Favorite TV shows, then and now:

My favorite TV shows when I was a kid were Have Gun, Will Travel and The Twilight Zone. Now they are Jericho and NCIS.

Favorite movies, then and now:

My favorite movies when I was young were On the Beach (the black and white version) and The Guns of Navarone. Now there are too many to choose only two, but recently I'd choose movies like Shrek and National Treasure.

Favorite books/authors:

Not counting The Bible, two other favorite books are Pilgrimage: The Book of the People by Zenna Henderson; and Time and Again by Jack Finney.

My old friends would be surprised to know . . . ?

To all of my college friends who haven't seen me since graduation: 1.) No I didn't marry my college sweetheart. Sorry!!! 2.) Yes, I still type with only one finger.

Final thoughts:

To all the parents of my students, I'd like to leave a few parting words. "Your children are a treasure far rarer than gold. Thank you for sharing them with me." And to my students, remember me as you knew me. After all, most of you are still only twelve or thirteen years old in my heart.

(It was either this or "Humanity is the idiot child of the universe," and I didn't think many people would appreciate that.)

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