My sixth grade social studies teacher in Pennsylvania was Mr Border. He was dashing and masculine in a rugged, mountain man way, and he was vocal about his hobbies as an outdoorsman. He was always tromping off to Canada to do something or other active-type thing. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he can shoot a moose. He was the head of the ski club, which I found completely intimidating.
He was not my favorite teacher, and I was not his favorite student. (Pretty sure he smelled my fear and lost all respect.) But he had one mission, and that was to make sure that every student who passed through his classroom learned who the father of Canada was. He pounded it into us. Every day. Samuel de Champlain. Samuel de Champlain. Samuel de Champlain. Who is the father of Canada? Who is the father of Canada? Who is the father of Canada?
Mind you, I don't remember anything ELSE about Samuel de Champlain. I don't even know what it means to be the father of a country (George Washington is the father of the US, right?). Wikipedia tells me that he was a French navigator, geographer, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, ethnologist, diplomat, chronicler, and the founder of Quebec City on July 3, 1608, of which he was the administrator for the rest of his life. (1575-1635).
The other thing Mr Border taught us was how to fold maps. Ah-proh-poh for a Champlain junkie, I can see now. That's what cartography is, right? Maps and such. (Allow me to digress for a moment and say how unbelievably terrible I would be as a cartographer. The details! I would be all, that lake is somewhere over there. Roughly. Does that road really need to go on? Okay, I'm bored now. Send it to print.)
I'm sure Mr Border is not reading this, but I imagine he would be proud to know that many years later I still know the father of Canada. I think I may have even dropped it in conversation a few times. And I still think of that man every time I fold a %*&$ map.
These teachers and their power, no?
(And happy 400th anniversary, Quebec City!)