Dr. Florence Hay Anastasas
August 28, 1903 - August 25, 2005 (see bottom)

...
Dr. Florence H. Hay was our Senior English teacher at Narimasu High School in Tokyo.

She moved to Kanto Mura to teach at Chofu High school from 1963 until her retirement in 1972.
While there, she married architect Henry Anastasas in 1965. Whether you remember her as Dr. Hay or as Dr. Anastasas, she was a teacher you remember all your life.

Dr. Hay introduced us to Shakespeare and the classics, for which she had a passion.  To some of us, the passion that she passed along for literature and for writing remained a lifetime.  Dr. Hay was a teacher who inspired .. by no means easy .. but inspiring.

She wrote a poem for the Narimasu HS Class of 1960, sending us on our way into the world.

 

1960 Seniors, Farewell.

A long farewell, my 'sixty Senior Fans,
My captive audience.  In Shakespeare's name

And Milton's, Chaucer's, too, I've fanned the flame
Of fairest England, in shadow of Japan's
Volcanic treasures.  Hence, in all your plans
The West shall wed the East.  No crippling blame
Of narrow bounds shall bar from you a fame
Deeper in soul than known to ancient clans.
You'll wave your banners and achievements trace,
As skilled Kabuki fans in dance rehearse,
To all the compass points from South to North,
Encircling nations, hemispheres, and space.
With Thought's advance you'll fan the Universe,
In Cosmic Peace, attaining highest worth.

Dr. Florence H. Hay

Right click (open new window) on a photo outlined in red to view a larger version.
She taught like a university professor, preparing the students for what was to come.  The love of language came through osmosis just by being near her.  Her love of Japan was infectious, as well, encouraging us to partake of the rich culture.  She was right; it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Photographing the November, 1960 mock Nixon-Kennedy debates at Narimasu.  We learned the power of a well written story and a great photo: they change the world. Notice how few visual clues are needed to tell that it's her? 
With her husband, Henry Anastasas, at their wedding, January 9, 1965.
The wedding cake.

Right click (open new window) on a photo outlined in red to view a larger version.
John Buey, Sr., honcho of Far East Network, and raconteur extraordinaire, gets a laugh from the couple.
The aprés-wedding getaway car with 
Mr. & Mrs. Anastasas.
Photos 1, 8 & 9 are from the Narimasu 1960 Sensu annual. Photos #2, 4, 7,  10 &11 and the poem below were found on the Chofu HS alumni website.  Thanks for posting these, Chofu Vikings, Dr. Anastasas was one in a million and is a major part of our shared heritage. Pics #3 and #12 below, are from Brian Killen, Narimasu '61.  Photos 5 & 6 are from Kevin Buey, Narimasu '64. The cheerleader pic is from The Dragon's Roar. The bottom photo is from Chofu HS alumnus Robert Fitgerald, who posted it on the Chofu forum.
Dr. Hay and John Kessel (1960)
Dr. Hay and Donald Dodge (1960)
Advisers to Quill & Scroll, Intl. Society 
for High School Journalists.
Advisers to Sensu (Japanese for fan), 
the Narimasu yearbook.

Right click (open new window) on a photo outlined in red to view a larger version.
Grading papers. Always working, always at the top of her game. Brian Killen, NHS '61 has a collection of every paper he turned in to her, and it is obvious that she always read (and corrected) every word on every page for every student, with comments on how to improve.  Here's the reason for your grade.  It's means it is and its is possessive.   1961 Senior English class 
In retrospect, we now see that it was the most demanding teachers who had the most positive effect on our lives, not the ones who let us slide.  She should have been Superintendent of American Education. Guess where our schools would have been today. 


From The Dragon's Roar, May 21, 1962:
At a faculty-student basketball game in the Narimasu HS gym in 1962.  If anyone deserved this uniform, it was Florence, with more school spirit than all the cheerleaders put together. 

On her retirement, she dedicated a poem to the Chofu High School graduating class, dated  May 31, 1972.  In addition to her poem, she included a map of the world detailing her teaching career from 1935 to 1972 in Michigan, Germany and Japan.
Dear Students,

For decades three, I've sought to share
Sweet Learning's Keys in classroom fair,
And all the years have built for me
A Palace to Infinity.
And you, my latest pupils, star
As trebly dear, because you are
The courtiers of my last great hall,
From which I step to newer call
Of leisure time in life's bright day
To wisdom seek along Time's Way!
I wish you well in all you do
And give this parting gift to you:
"Set high your goals to your Far Noons,
Your lives will shine like burnished spoons,
Your efforts stir some distant moons!"

     Dr. Florence Anastasas


To all of the teachers at our American military dependent high schools .. this is addressed to you ..

Words are totally inadequate for 30 years of service to us,
your former students whose lives have been touched immeasurably,
and for your dedication to that most noble of professions .. teaching ..
words don't seem to be enough ..

 ....................but, since teaching is about words,
. .......................................... ..................................phrases,
 ............................................ ........................................ .........sentences,
 ........................................ ........................................ ................................paragraphs,
 ..................................... ........................................ ........................................ ...............chapters and
 .................................. ........................................ ........................................ ........................................ books ..

here are a few simple words from all of us military brats,
now grown and scattered around the world:

Thank you .. domo arigato!

Update 4/20/99
Jazzbo,
I wanted to let you know what a wonderful tribute that is to Dr. Hay.  Today I went to visit her at the nursing  home where she currently resides.  I took a copy of the pages (this Web page) to her, and she was delighted.  She mentioned that she felt "famous."  I told her that many of her students are very grateful for all that she taught them.  Marian Cook Bryan, my husband, Richard Norris, and I were all fortunate enough to be in one of her English classes.  We try to visit her every few months.  She still reads constantly and conducts poetry readings every Tuesday morning.  She was also instrumental in setting up a book club that  meets every Friday morning.  She is a fascinating woman with a very positive outlook on life.  I am inspired each time I visit with her. 
 - Lynne Moriuchi Norris
Narimasu 1962-63 Sophomore/Chofu 1963 Junior


Richard Norris (l) and Robert Fitzgerald (r), Chofu HS '65, visit with our beloved English teacher, Dr. Florence Hay Anastasas, in Palo Alto, CA.  During their visit, she was moved to a creative couplet:
 
In all the world, In magnificent ways
My students visit me, Remembering Glory Days.

Dr. Anastasas 6/10/99



No matter what age we reach, we all like to have our birthdays remembered.

I wrote this one 8/22/99 for Dr. Hay, and it was delivered to her.
I was told that Dr. Hay didn't remember who I was, and that's to be expected, but I remember her.

On the Occasion of Your Birthday

Greetings to you, Florence Hay Anastasas,
From a student these four decades past.
With love of your craft, you spellbound your classes,
In a mellifluous Bard-speak repast.

But Shakespeare’s not all you taught us so well,
Tho’ Will sweetly could turn a word.
Those who would hear came under the spell
Of pen – its power o’erwhelms sword.

If the world is a stage and on it we’re players,
Then God cast you in a grand role -
A part rich and deep, in labyrinth layers,
Performed with persuasion and soul.

Happy Birthday!

.
 .
Final Update - August 25, 2005

Dr. Florence Hay Anastasas died today of complications from pneumonia at her nursing home in Palo Alto, California.

Some teachers affect us in different ways, somewhat like a pebble dropped into a pond. The ripples travel out in concentric circles until they finally dissipate in the distance. Some are remembered, but many are not.

Florence Hay Anastasas was quite different. Her influence on me, and on others at Narimasu and Chofu High Schools in Tokyo, was not like a pebble in a pond. Florence was a meteorite in a lake.

Jazzbo



Contents
© 1999 Jazzbo