Stay safe and don’t do anything stupid

Maddie Dailey, A&E Editor

   Through loss and triumph, one teacher and her group of students and relatives conquer obstacles of all kinds to, in the end, become one family.

    Nancy Glimme is a well known face here on campus.  She teaches first and second semester classes of World Geography and also a couple US History classes.  With her wisdom of the subject and life as a whole, she teaches you a lot more than what is stated on the class syllabus.

    Glimme sadly experienced the loss of her beloved husband recently, but strength and togetherness were regular themes throughout these times among her family and her classes.  Glimme is proud to share her journey from the start, beginning with a chuckle to herself.

     “Ok, I met him when I was fourteen and I was in the ‘Wizard of Oz’,” she said.  “I was Dorothy, and he was the gatekeeper and he was sixteen.  We sort of went, and then we broke up, and I met him again several times [later on], but I met him again when I was the University of California, Berkeley.”

    At Berkeley, in December of 1968, Mr. Glimme proposed, and two weeks later he was kissing his bride.

    They finished school together, and moved out to his parents’ land in Clear Lake near a pond.  After living Walden Pond style for a while, Glimme “got tired of being poor” and moved back into a more urban area.

    “He went to school and became an attorney and I just started having babies, took care of my kids and did a lot of part time jobs,” she said.  “Until I realized that I was volunteering so much at their school that it was time for me to consider being a teacher.  So I went back to school and got 30 units in 11 months and got a job teaching kindergarten.”

    The move and her children jump-started her teaching career and after seven years at Montevideo and seven years at Stone Valley, she landed at Monte Vista for now sixteen years.  Throughout all of her time at school, she has been teaching American history.

     This year, in August, her youngest grandson was born after a difficult forty-plus hour delivery.  It came to her attention that it was time for a change.

    “The nurses said to me after we were done, ‘you should be a doula,’” she said.  “And I said, ‘Ah, that’s what I want to do!’”

    She explains that a doula is someone who helps the family through the delivery and labor process, but not a midwife.  She also mentioned that she would like the work with teenage mothers.

    “The other thing I need to do is work in crisis nurseries where there are infants that need support or help,” she said.  “And I’m good at that; I can sing lullabies.”  

    This means that after the end of this year, Glimme will be retiring from her teaching days.  However, she pointed out how helpful school was for her before her husband passed.    

     To her students she says: “So, he passed and we went up to our pond and put his ashes in the pond and I sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  It was a very important closure and I want people to understand that I don’t need to be consumed with grief; I wanted to come back and show you guys that I was okay and the choices that we made were strong and helped us be stronger.”

     She made her gratitude clear and noted many acts of kindness that came her way.  

    “I am so grateful for the students I have this year because my semester-one freshman class, my semester two freshman class and my juniors held me up,” she said.  “I had a couple people write and say they always had my back and that’s what I felt like.  I asked a student, I said I don’t want to share if it’s too much and she said, ‘we are learning so much more about life Mrs. Glimme.’  I thought that’s a really nice thing to think.”

    Many classes sent cards and and pictures her way before and after they heard the news, the first semester class even designed bracelets with her most famous message on them: stay safe and don’t do anything stupid.

    We can all learn a little something from the voice that echos from her room every time we pass by.  She made sure, if only one thing, that we remembered those words.  It has forever been ingrained in our minds.

    “I have to say that the cards I got, it was actually my birthday the day after he passed, that just lifted me, totally lifted me and I have every single one of them.  Our goal in life is to give the best that we have and that’s what I felt came that day.”  

    School was important to her and always will be, considering she took teaching to a whole new level.

    “This whole year the only respite I had was being here at school,” Glimme said, “and it was very important for me to have that time because I really didn’t have to think about anything except what I really loved to do and that was to teach.”