Are You Like Mr. Bergman?



Eric Bergman

When I decided to interview teachers on what they were like in high school and who they wanted to become, English teacher Eric Bergman was an immediate choice. “What was Mr. Bergman like in high school? Did he enjoy reading classic works of literature in cafés with paint-stained pants? Or was he possibly a mischievous teenager who would sneak into movie theaters, and spray paint profane words on a brick bridge? Could he have been a star athlete? Who won every homecoming game with cheerleaders on each arm? Sure why not, he could have been any of those I said to myself. I let my mind wander to the infinite possibilities of what information I was going to get, daydreaming farther and farther in my own hopelessly scenic and romantic mind where little Isetta cars zoom by on a cobblestone street and yellow glows from cafés light midnight lovers’ paths. Quickly I snapped out of it when I heard, “Miss Goodman, come inside.” Mr. Bergman held his Steelers mug, face possibly smiling, though I can never tell these days with our masks. I walked into his classroom, my mind full of ideas and thoughts of what lies behind the past of Morgan’s star English teacher.

Morgan’s students know beloved English teacher Mr. Bergman as a kind compassionate teacher and an artistic thoughtful man who interacts with students and shows his interest in their creativity and passion. Every type of student in the school is fond of him, from the athletes to the bookworms, Mr. Bergman inspires all.

Mr. Bergman attended Faith Windsor High School in Hartford, CT. While there, he dabbled in different mediums of sports, enjoying all fully. He says, “playing sports was a way for me to make friends, keep friends, and stabilize a comfortable popularity amongst my peers.” Mr. Bergman and I both know that to “survive high school” you need to try to fit in.

While making his way through high school Mr. Bergman said he always felt like a vagabond, floating between cliques On the outside you would see an athletic and popular teen, but he always knew sports wasn’t his calling. Now Mr. Bergman gets along with every type of student. He could find himself having common interests with every group of his peers. This made navigating high school difficult because he was not a part of a specific group. Not gluing himself to a specific type of teens gave him a free and open mind to possible careers in his future.

Eric Bergman- Senior in High School

Mr. Bergman said he never thought in high school he would become a teacher. He was a strong student in English and enjoyed literature, but he never thought he would end up teaching it. Possible careers he had his eye on were journalism and law. But it wasn’t until he entered college that he found his love for literature, film, and art. While exploring how books and films can create culture and can create new meaning in the world, Mr. Bergman found his true home. Teaching young minds about the magic of expanding upon their ideas, sharing their thoughts and emotions, and making ideas into reality brings joy to Mr. Bergman. He sees his students grow and change their interests. He inspires them to be their own person, and treasures being a part of their journey to success.

While I wrapped up the interview I couldn’t stop thinking to myself how much teachers mean in our lives. Whether you love them or strongly dislike them, each one leaves an impact on what you become. Having encouraging teachers like Mr. Bergman who inspires students to create, can make for artists and thoughtful adults. So there I sat in an empty classroom, smelling the scent of harsh sanitizing spray, staring at him while he took a sip of coffee. Pen still in hand wondering if there would be more, I look down at my notes scribbled on the same note pad I’ve been using for 2 years. Thinking to myself this is all we need, isn’t it? We don’t need fancy cars and designer clothing to be happy. We need passionate people who inspire us to be our own selves and not follow along with what society says is a perfect life. We need teachers who teach what they believe in and what they see is beauty in the world, what they see is art.

One thing Mr. Bergman said in Film Study which always makes me wonder is, “Nothing is sacred anymore.” I thought about that for a while. It connects a lot with a question I’ve been asking myself “Is romance dead?” You look around at our modern world and everything seems so artificial. There is no more thought and passion, right? Well, I say no. People create their own scenes of what is sacred and their own romance. Mr. Bergman then followed up with “Film is sacred to be.” Meaning things still are sacred, and they always have been, and they always will be. As long as there are thinkers, creators, and outcasts to the “norm”, there will always be art, love, and hope.