A little more than six months ago, my former principal and friend, Craig, passed away. It's not uncommon for me to think of Craig, since I spend every day in the building that he built--the high school I teach in. He is *everywhere* in that building in both memory and spirit.
Turns out, he's also on Survivor. I started this season of Survivor about a quarter of the way in, and I immediately noticed Bob. I first noticed his physical resemblance to Craig. Bob is in his late 50s, has a beard, is tall and thin, and has wise eyes. I was struck by how much they resembled each other just based on visuals alone. Then, I saw him act, and this is no lie--it's as if Craig is reliving a bit of life through a reality show. Bob has won the last four immunity challenges. He plays with brains rather than brawn. He moves with intention while the younger folks around him are running themselves in circles. He is a strategist, trusting everyone just a bit, but trusting no one completely.
He's at home in the outdoors of Africa, and, oh yeah, he's a teacher. With very few changes, the following section of Bob's biography, taken from the Survivor CBS official website, could be Craig's:
"as well as President, Vice President and Chief Negotiator for his local Teacher's Union.
When not on an adventure, Robert interests include journal writing, story telling, photography, bone collecting, archeology and camping.
This tree climbing scientist, who describes himself as honest, adventurous, resourceful and witty, built his truly "green" summer cabin back when green was only referred to as the color. His "green" cabin was completely built with recycled material and requires a fraction of the energy of the average U.S. home. He's built numerous structures from recycled material including wharfs, saunas, a chicken house and a hunting cabin."
He says that he wants to prove that a nice guy can win the game.
I am enamored with Bob. I love watching him play a mostly-honest game against deceitful people. And I love that he reminds me so much of a man who had a lot more to give than what he had the chance or time for in his too-short life. It's a relief to know that, though Craig was one of a kind, there are others out there in the world who embody what he was and are able to continue demonstrating intelligence, kindness, and wisdom to those who are fortunate enough to know them.