Saturday, July 27, 2013

When the Shah was overthrown...

I posted this on my Facebook page but I'm also posting it here in hopes it will get me rolling again in making regular blog additions. My apologies to those who already read this.
One of the great things about being an instructor in an international hub like Silicon Valley is the number of wonderful students you get to train, students from all parts of the world. But it can also have a downside. Near the end of the 70s, I had a great student from Iran. He was an engineering major at a local college but lived in the Sunnyvale Holiday Inn. Each month, he would pay me with a $100 bill. I learned his education and board was being paid for by the Iranian government. I can’t remember a student who worked harder than he did. He gave me a great respect for the Iranian people. He told us his name was George Wilson. I didn’t know much about Iran but knew Wilson wasn’t a normal name for someone from that part of the world. I questioned him about it and he told me I wouldn’t be able to pronounce his real name so he wanted to make it easy for everyone. I told him that he was my student and the least I could do was call him by his name, learning how to pronounce it if necessary. He told me his name was Reza Mohammad Razmkhah (sp?), which I made everyone call him. He came in one day as he was about to test for brown belt. He was clearly upset and told me it would be his last class. The Shah had been overthrown and he had been recalled to Iran. He left and I never learned if he lived or died. But I think often of him.