Aim With Your Heart; Shoot With Your Mind
Memoir of an Extra-ordinary Teacher
by Jerry Cohen
From early childhood on, Jerry Cohen could have taken the easy way out. He never did, going places where he wasn’t necessarily wanted but was greatly needed.
With few regrets, through good times and sad, a life unfolds before your eyes, to thrill you, shock you, please you and damn you – all in the cause of courageously speaking truth to power and authority and of genuine receptivity to, and celebration of, what is good and honourable in all human beings.
The story begins shortly after the Second World War and ends in the digital age and #metoo environment of 2019, on the cusp of the dawn of a momentous 2020. The in-between years are the gift of a life lived to the fullest.
“In his breakout new book, Jerry Cohen provides his readers with a unique, first-person, brutally-honest perspective of the adolescent as seen through the eyes of a non-conventional social studies teacher. He leaves no stone unturned in his well-informed critical analysis of the sociodemographic and environmental factors at play that he felt so strongly impacted his students, their behaviours, their academic success, but ultimately, and more importantly, their success in life. As one of Jerry’s former students, I found his non-conformity and unconventional teaching methods inspirational.”
—Dr. Jennifer Payne, Psychiatrist, Montreal.
“…This book is at best an unfinished symphony of the life of Jerry Cohen, a record of the independent movements of his earthly journey – teacher, traveler, blogger, biker, author – all of which will resonate with you the reader at several layers that make up your own heart and mind. May you find in these pages a connection with your own heart’s noble aims and the inspiration to shoot with your mind for the stars that make life worth living.”
JERRY COHEN can easily be described as a consummate bon vivant who loves to shock people and stir the pots of many of those who are much too comfortable in their complacency and much too secure in their flimsy self-satisfied claims of entitlement. Extra-ordinary teacher, biker par-excellence, prolific, informative, highly- opinionated blogger (JUICYLESSONS), life’s journey has endowed him with accomplishments in various sectors of education – two seminal years in Northern Quebec, twenty-four years at Bialik High School, and six years with several schools of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board, half of which were spent in exceptional service of at risk students attending Phoenix Alternative High School, many of whom were put back on the right track to academic achievement, in part, through his and the rest of the staff’s effective and affective methods of teaching. Concurrent with his thirty-four years in the classroom, he enjoyed hitting the road on his motorcycle, serving as Vice-president/Treasurer, and the last President of the Provincial Association of Social Studies Teachers (PASST), as well as being a major force behind seven editions of an Annual Awards Ceremony in recognition of all Quebec Anglophone-sector students achieving 100% in the History of Quebec and Canada programme, an obligatory course for a high school leaving certificate.
He holds a BA from McGill University, with a major in Political Science (International Relations), an MA (International Relations) from Sussex University in England, a Diploma in Education from McGill University, and an MLS (Master of Library Science) also from McGill.
Bob Marley and me from 2020