This past fall, while the B-Flats were hard at work under the leadership of Dr. Dennis Slaughter, “Brother P” was taking advantage of a well-earned sabbatical. As part of Belmont Hill’s teacher contract, one is granted a sabbatical after every 10 years of service, so Mr. Patterson wasted no time embarking on his seven-month journey. In June, after securing his replacement for the fall semester, Brother P mirrored his travel itinerary to when he accompanied former Belmont Hill Chinese teacher, Jenny Gao, on a trip to China. He then continued on to Taipei, Taiwan; Seoul, South Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and Shanghai, China. Upon his return to the states, he spent the remainder of August planning his September departure to Nice, France, where he took up residency for a month. While many may not know, Brother P is fluent in French. The French life agreed with Brother P as he recounted his relaxing routine of, “going to the same bakery, meat place, and supermarket.” One other highlight of his European tour included working with a gospel choir in Bavaria, Germany.
November brought Brother P stateside for a nanosecond, before he was off to Bermuda. Of particular interest and enjoyment was the warm weather and cave exploration. But the thrill of the election drew him back to Washington D.C., where he spent much of his time parading up and down the mall and popping into all of the Smithsonian Museums. Most exciting was an opportunity to visit the highly anticipated African American Museum, which recently opened in September 2016. From there, Brother P travelled to New York and although he has much family living in the area, he was too busy visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, One Trade Center, Ground Zero, and attending the four-hour opera Tristan Und Isolde at the Lincoln Center to stay with relatives. This trip to New York was particularly emotional since he had been in New York one month prior to the attacks on 9/11. Brother P returned home for Christmas and on the 26th, his bags were packed and he was jetting off to Panama!
While he enjoyed what he referred to as a “professional New Year’s celebration” orchestrated by the Panamanians, he is intrigued by the Panama Canal, even dedicating one day of his trip exploring it via boat.
Coming back to Belmont Hill, Brother P brings with him a refreshed sense of excitement for the classroom and the arts. While he enjoyed his extensive travels and relaxing pastimes, he confided in me his desire to occasionally “sneak into the play or see the flats.” I know I speak for the entire Belmont Hill community when I say Brother P was missed; we are thrilled to have him back.