Introducing Jim O‘Connor, an algebra and calculus teacher at St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge, California. This math instructor has a lengthy military background gives him an authoritative presence and somewhat unapproachable vibe. His powerful voice is enough to get the attention of all his students, and his no–nonsense teaching style is well–known.
“It drives me crazy when people say school should be fun,” Jim said. “I mean, it’s nice if it could be, but you can’t make school fun.”
Jim’s students thought they knew everything about him until one student, Pat McGoldrick, found out something shocking. Pat was heading up the student blood drive and while at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, found out Jim had an “alter ego.”
Pat said it was weird that whenever he told someone where he went to school, they said, “Oh, you must know Jim O’Connor. Isn’t he wonderful?” Pat said “wonderful” was not the word most students would use to describe the acerbic calculus teacher.
They took him to the blood donor center, where Jim O’Connor’s name sat at the very top of the plaque for people who had donated the most blood–72 gallons and counting. But they also told him about Jim’s other passion: cuddling sick babies.
At Children‘s Hospital Los Angeles, Jim is a TLC Volunteer, donating his time after 5 p.m. and on weekends for the past 20 years. He was originally encouraged to get involved with the hospital by a friend who asked him to take part in a blood drive. Since then, Jim has been embracing infant patients who are in need of extra care.
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