Our favorite teacher was a guy called Mr. Stewart. He was a history teacher and he had a funny, mean sense of humor. And he played guitar. And he drank a lot. Looking back on it, we’re pretty sure he was severely depressed. We hope he’s ok, wherever he is
Where I hailed him:West Village
Where he hails from: West Africa
Years as a cabbie: 8
Previous profession: Always a cabbie
Mr. Baswire was the best teacher I ever had. He taught English. He taught us the basics of language, which are hugely important, obviously. And how books could make a difference in your life. We read James Baldwin, something called The Fire Next Time. Even the kids who thought they were too cool for studying read that. It changed our lives.
Where I hailed him:Grand Central
Where he hails from: The Brox
Years as a cabbie: 8 months
Previous profession: Always a driver
School teachers? I can’t think of any. I went to a really shitty school. I don’t want to tell you which one, but it was bad. There were like 30 kids in each class, so the teachers didn’t have time for anyone. I got shitty grades, so I was paid even less attention. I can’t even remember the names of a lot of my teachers. I did have a guidance counselor who was all right. I saw him when my parents got divorced, and we would just hang out and talk. I remember we talked a lot about music, which was cool, but I don’t know if I’d say he taught me anything.
Where I hailed him:Port Authority
Where he hails from: Miani
Years as a cabbie: 5
Previous profession: Bank teller
Probably my dad, I guess. But every man can say that. [What did he teach you?] I don’t know. Everything. How to be a man.
Where I hailed him:Hell's Kitchen
Where he hails from: Syria
Years as a cabbie: 2
Previous profession: Pharmacist
Well, I didn’t really like school growing up, so I didn’t like any of my teachers at the time. But I had a science teacher who caught me not paying attention in class one day. He took me aside and said, “Not only are you disrespecting me, you’re hurting yourself by not working hard.” Then he started talking about how important it was to learn about science because it explained the way the world worked. He said, “No matter what you look at, science can explain why it is that way. How buildings are made, how flowers grow.” I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now I think he said a very wise thing.