So while I catch up a little, here's a Monday Memory:
My senior year in high school I took a three-course sequence in Asian History. Each trimester had a required read, and Mishima's Spring Snow was the read for the Modern Asia course.
The Sea of Fertility tetrology (Spring Snow is the first book) traces the lives of three friends over a period of years, each taking very different journeys. One (Kiyoaki) is reincarnated anew each book, the other two (Shigekuni and Satoko) continue through (well, sort of... read the books and see). The thing is, it wasn't just that one of my favorite teachers inspired me to read the other three books - it's that the journey the three take has resonated differently with me at different times. I remember reading the books and writing to this teacher, back when writing was the done thing, before e-mail was invented, and giving him my response. He wrote back and we "chatted" about it for a while. A few years later, I wrote telling him how the book had affected me on a second read - and his response made me feel as though I was, in some small way, his intellectual equal (clearly not possible, right?!).
That was one of the proudest moments of my life, feeling that someone - a man who I admired greatly and who had inspired me - thought I was his equal.
It's doubtful that any of the students I've worked with have admired me or been inspired by me to the extent that this teacher did me (and not just me - many, many others). But if I can make one feel as proud to be my friend as I felt to be his... And it's all due to this one book.