Friday, October 17, 2008

We Remember: Kathy Jarvis

Editor's Note: Kathy Jarvis, a long-time colleague & Latin Teacher at Our Humble High School, lost her battle with breast cancer 2 years ago today. Besides being a fanTAbulous teacher, Magistra (teacher, in Latin) was known for rallying her students, when frozen precipitation was featured in the forecast, to perform an ancient Roman Ritual Snow Dance, and for giving extra credit to her cherbus for wearing artfully draped sheets to school on a designated Toga Day.

The snap above was taken at the hospital, as Kathy celebrated Homecoming with 2 of her colleagues from the Foreign Language Department. When she couldn't join the party here, the party would go to her. Following is a Tribute 2 of our Cherubs penned in the wake of Kathy's passing. Please make sure to check out what you can do to increase Breast Cancer Awareness in this country.

Longtime Latin teacher Kathy Jarvis died on Toga Day.


On the morning of October 17, Magistra Jarvis lost her 16-year battle with breast cancer. Jarvis, 58, had worked at OHHS since 1989.

During her time here, she was admired for her dry sense of humor and optimistic demeanor. Through the most ravaging periods of her treatment, she still managed to make others smile.

"The last time we saw her she was joking with us about how when she was taking a shower, she looked like a gorilla because her hair was falling out all over her," said Lauren, a student of Jarvis’s for four years.

Her thinning hair was often the subject of her humor.

"She used to joke with me about who had less hair," said Principal Man.

Though she laughed in the face of her disease and invited her students to do the same, she didn’t let the cancer keep her from doing what she loved. Jarvis’s dedication to teaching was evident to her colleagues each day that she came to work, even as chemotherapy weakened her.

"There aren’t too many people that have the level of dedication and love for what she did," said fellow Latin teacher Mrs. B. "I don’t know how she came in here sometimes." Mrs. B worked closely with Jarvis for two years and has been teaching all of her classes in her absence.

Jarvis was also well-known for her creative ways of bringing a seemingly dead language to life.

"I would eavesdrop outside her classroom just to see what she was doing because her students were always laughing and having fun," said Spanish teacher Mrs. P

Jarvis has left an empty place at OHHS that friends agree will never be filled. She requested that in lieu of flowers, a scholarship for a "worthy Latin student" be established in her memory.

For 16 years she fought cancer with grace and dignity, according to those who knew her. Though she is gone, Jarvis is still remembered for her enthusiasm, spirit, and love of teaching. She leaves behind her declension beat box machine, her Snow Dance equipment, and an empty toga.

"I look around and she still is here," said Mrs. B. "I look around at the things she left behind. The greatest thing she left was a legacy."

Playing along today with Candid Carrie & her Friday Foto Fiesta Finish.

19 comments:

Lynda said...

What a lovely tribute. I took Latin in HS - big fun, actually.

Oh, and TAG - you're it!

Candid Carrie said...

I am pleased that you used Fx4 as a vehicle to honor your friend.

My favorite part is where it all ties together:

She leaves behind her declension beat box machine, her Snow Dance equipment, and an empty toga.

That is when my tears started to fall, I think they were tears of joy and I think that is what she would have wanted.

Thanks, and my sympathy.

Lauren said...

Wow 16 years. That's a long time to battle anything. Strong woman.

Glenda, saved by grace said...

Breast Cancer took my mother on May 14th of this year.I am still so raw!
She , like your teacher , was a survivor of 28-1/2 years!I think the years in between, God used her mightily. She , like your teacher, was one of a kind!
Thanks for this! It made me smile, cry, and remember!

Blog Stalker said...

What a great tribute. Great indeed are those who shape and mold the children of today into the leaders of tomorrow!

Have a great day!

lmerie said...

Over from Candid Carries . . .

Very touching and what a sweet fun picture!

~~tonya~~ said...

Thanks for sharing such great pictures.

Frizzy and Bird said...

Coming to you from Candid Carrie. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute to your friend and colleague.

jewelstreet said...

So inspiring! What a beautiful tribute to what must have been one of the most incredible teachers and woman.

Mrs. S said...

Isn't it amazing how teachers can bring a "dead" subject to life, and bring meaning to high school?

Susie said...

What a beautiful tribute.

Outnumbered2to1 said...

Wow, what a beautiful tribute to a strong woman.

Sooz said...

Coming to you from Candid Carrie's...what a beautiful tribute, thanks so much for sharing it.

binks said...

*sniff*
That was an amazing photo of an amazing lady.
Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer said...

That's a great picture--it sounds like she was an amazing lady!!

Nik said...

what a moving tribute for a strong woman that shaped many lives.

Teri said...

Thank you so very much for sharing. That is a beautiful tribute.

Marrdy said...

That is a very moving post. Thanks for sharing such a great lady's story!

Inara said...

Thanks so much for this post. She was my teacher for three years in a subject I absolutely loved. When I was at WSHS that day, I walked down the foreign language hall, and for a moment, I expected her to be in her classroom.

Most teachers were happy when I did enough to get an A, but Mrs. Jarvis demanded that I get a 100% on every assignment, no matter how big or small, and she'd be disappointed when I didn't. I really miss her reality checks.

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