Biology teacher: John Penter

Uploaded by soldiersmediacenter on 01.03.2010

We're about to introduce you to a biology teacher from Ramstein, Germany.
If you put his life under a microscope, you'll find there's more to the man
than high school lesson plans.
He teaches by the way he lives.
Michelle Michael has the story.
[male speaker] I love to take the roll. It's so much fun.
[Michael] Getting teenagers to like biology...
Oh, crap. This is going to suck.
[Michael] is an exact science.
Ask John Penter.
It's my mad scientist costume. [laughing]
The man's half nuts, but he's a very nice man.
[Michael] The science teacher... >>[Penter] Look at the first one there.
[Michael] with a history in the halls at Ramstein High.
Sometimes he makes these odd shrieking noises.
[Penter] Is she talking about the monkey laugh? [students laughing]
[Campbell] You can hear it across the hall or down the halls.
[Penter laughing]
[Michael] He likes Fs because they remind him of his favorite plant.
[Penter] We always say fern frond with only two teeth showing.
Fern frond. [laughing]
I didn't know biology was going to be this fun.
[Michael] It seems every topic... >>[Penter] ...metaphase, interphase, telophase.
[Michael] hits a high note.
[Penter] Could you close the door, please, Miss Yancey?
He plays the piano sometimes.
And I can play louder. [♪piano playing♪]
[Michael] When it comes to people, Penter has a lot of patience
in more ways than one.
[Penter] I've taken about 2,000 patients on trips.
[Michael] Most days when he leaves the front of the class,
he gets behind the wheel...
[Penter] I'm going to drive to downtown Kaiserslautern.
[Michael] giving wounded troops like Jeff Pinkert a chance to see some of Germany
when he'd otherwise be cooped up in a hospital room here.
I'll stop there and we can open the windows and hear the babbling brook.
It's something more than most people would be willing to do,
and it's special.
[Pinkert] I left my regular camera in Iraq.
[Michael] He started in 2004 when he met a wounded soldier
outside of the hospital.
As soon as the sunlight hit his face,
he says in a loud voice, lying on his back on the gurney, he says,
"I love my life."
And I was deeply moved by that.
Mr. Penter. He's a biology teacher, musician, caretaker.
Mr. Penter is everything.
[Michael] The man who flunked out of medical school [Penter laughing]
gets an A+ in living life [Penter laughing].
At 70 years old... >>[Penter] We should do the monkey laugh every day.
[Michael] John Penter found the biology of love,
and it's hard not to pay attention--even in high school science.
He is funny, but like I said, he's also got a very big heart.
I don't know many people who would go up to the hospital after school,
after they've been here all day long.
[♪piano playing♪] [Penter] All right. Thanks a lot. Bye.
Michelle Michael, Ramstein, Germany.
[♪piano playing♪]
Wow. If I had a teacher like that, I would have been paying attention in class.
Yeah, he seems to be a real big inspiration to those kids.