Remembering Mr David Leck

Posted by on May 17, 2008 in David Feng Views, Education, Languages | No Comments

21:37 (UTC+08:00), 17 MAY 2008 | CHN BEIJING

As Facebook made me aware: Mr David Leck, former English teacher at the Inter-Community School, passed away last Sunday, May 11, 2008.

Mr Leck is an outstanding teacher of English and it was a great pleasure having him teach me English. He along with Ms Trimming made up the classic duo of English teachers throughout middle school and part of high school.

In presently the only report card I have from Mr Leck (in which he personally wrote to me in pen), dated late 1995, he gives me encouragement (in the following quote, instances of my former name, “Yan” Feng, have been substituted with the present name, David Feng):

Name: David Feng / Class: 8W / ENGLISH
Attainment: B+ / Effort: 1

David is a most conscientious student with an overwhelming desire to do well. His written work is invariably meticulously planned and executed in accurate, if somewhat archaic, English. He makes a lively contribution towards oral work.

To excel in IGCSE, he will need to be able to write in a variety of styles, not just the rather formal one he employs in all cases now. He will need to practice this.

(Signed) D. Leck

Mr Leck’s comments came at the best possible time. Just a few years later, the beginning of the end of this era in which only “formalized and archaic English” was used, came. Mr Leck made a direct contribution to the use of what I now term “people language”, which can be seen all over the place — in particular if you read CN Reviews or The Beijingologist at City Weekend.

Up above, I am sure that Mr Leck can rest peacefully knowing that through his exceptional teaching and unparalleled humor, he made a world of difference to my English skills. His sense of humor — the never-to-be-missed “old bean” jokes — made all the difference to be in a Mr Leck class.

Outside the classroom, Mr Leck continued to shine. His role of Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing was outstanding, leaving an extremely profound impression in my mind. He acted out his role as Dogberry like no actor ever had, bringing the audience to peels of uncontrollable laughter. On the bus to Riquewihr, France, a happy Mr Leck sat next to me, making the trip to France in 1996 that bit more special. I met Mr Leck twice after the events of 1998, both times at ICS. It was extremely refreshing to see Mr Leck once again, back on that familiar ICS home soil.

Mr Leck has left us, but his memories and his spirit lives on, and his desire to see me excel, I am sure, has not changed. It has been a pleasure being a student of Mr Leck. May Mr David Leck rest in peace, and may all us — as students of Mr Leck — be grateful that we were blessed by the lessons of this fantastic teacher. All the great lessons and knowledge Mr Leck has taught me will remain in my works.