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True Life: I’m addicted to baking and bowties

Kayla Hammer Jon jee Editor Published: April 23, 2012 8:30 AM
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Passion can be an enduring quality, said English teacher Frederick Frank, resting in his classroom full of Carpe Diem posters and literary figure cut-outs.

Frank is well-known around John Glenn High School for being one excellent, entertaining and sometimes challenging teacher. But what goes on when his red pen isnt scribbling on research papers or his nose isnt in novels?

His list of passions begins with his love for dogs, particularly Golden Retrievers, like his current dog Huck, or larger dogs. Because his parents didnt allow him to own a dog throughout his early childhood, they began to think he would lose [his mind] if he didnt get one.

My neighbor picked up a stray one day, and I begged my parents to let me keep it, said Frank. It was my first dog, and it lived to be seventeen. It became part of the family.

Puppy love ran in the family. Franks grandfather on his mothers side, Strasser, also enjoyed dogs.

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My grandpa loved dogs, said Frank, and I think I inherited some of his personality tendencies, just like his love for bowties.

This English teacher can almost always be spotted sporting a colorful or unique bowtie.

I have a love for art, said Frank, and Ive always thought they look really dapper.

As an un-athletic kid in high school, Frank found clothing as a way to define himself. He enjoyed wearing outrageous clothing, almost an in your face kind of style.

I thought the bowties made me look bookish, said Frank proudly, and I wanted to embrace my nerdiness. Its all about attitude.

Students can even look back to find him wearing a bowtie in his senior picture. Frank claims his favorite of all time is his green and blue plaid one.

Along with puppies and bowties, Frank also adores his beloved favorite poet Emily Dickinson. He exclaims that in her poems, he loves the idea of an outwardly conforming life with lots of unrestrained passion.

Dickinsons poems are tight in control but also have a fire inside of them, said Frank. I love her because on the outside she seems so ordinary, but theres this hidden imagination inside of her. I aspire to be like that.

Frank discovered his passion for this 17th century poet while in college, and one of his favorite pieces from her work is titled I taste a liquor never brewed.

His passionate personality flows into his involvement in the Fellowship of Christian Students at JGHS.

I grew up in church, said Frank, and at age 35, my love for passion made me view Christ as the ultimate passionate person. Then I was asked to help [Spanish teacher Michelle Warner] with FCS at 37.

Frank states that fellowship is the key word. He sees the group as a place where students with Christian faith can grow with each other and enjoy each others presence.

Im passionate about thinking, and Im passionate about faith, said Frank. So, wheres the passion when youre not engaged?

Although he is a leader in FCS, Frank has learned plenty from the other members as well.

Some might see me as the man with all the answers, said Frank, but what they dont see is that they inspire and teach me.

FCS and its participants have left their mark on Frank that he will carry with him through the rest of his life.

Love is like a fire, said Frank. When you get close to it, you feel its warmth. Love is contagious. I think Ive become a more loving person by just being around [the students in FCS].

Besides FCS, he helps every year with the Community Country Christian Choir by narrating for them while they perform a cantana.

I have a love for acting, said Frank, so I really enjoy it.

Frank can also be found painting portrait and landscape art with oils or acrylics, or busy in the kitchen.

Cooking is all about the pleasure you have with other people and friends and just sitting around the dining room table, said Frank. Ive been working on Julia Childs cookbook, and my current favorite meal is her Boeuf Bourguignon.

The dish contains beef but focuses on the many flavors and spices as it cooks slowly in burgundy wine.

Its like a tango in the mouth, said Frank, glowing.

Whether hes outside taking in the spring weather with Huck in a dapper bowtie, immersing himself in a collection of Dickinson poems, or testing out a new lasagna recipe, Frank is relishing in every second of the day.

Since life is a gift, said Frank, it seems almost criminal to not be passionate about things. Its part of the joy of people.

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