He was often misunderstood, as well. It's not easy to be a quirky, liberal-minded literary scholar in a small, conservative Indiana town. Unlike Zelda, he was a master of his craft. His art resided in his ability to turn would-be high school wallflowers into oratorical power houses. He believed ALL students had potential for greatness in some form or another. And he was pretty good in bringing it to light.
In the classroom, he utilized multiple mediums to illustrate that art and literature could be found everywhere. He taught us the importance of details by forcing us to watch a 4-hour mini-series called The Martian Chronicles starring Rock Hudson. We never read the book, but we did have to know how many times the phone rang in scene whatever before so-and-so answered it.
He introduced us to transcendental thinking from the likes of Whitman, Emerson and Thoreau and he showed us how Civil Disobedience could change the world. He called on us by an assigned number in the classroom long before Austin Powers made it comical. During speech, he referred to us only by our last name. In fact, he might never have known that my first name is Rachel, he knew me only as Beher...which took two seasons for him to pronounce correctly.
And that's irony, baby.