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Former Science teacher fulfills 46-year-old promise to students, thanks to rare total solar eclipse

A 46-year-old former teacher’s promise is coming true on Monday thanks to the total solar eclipse. Back in 1978, when Earth Science teacher Pat Moriarty was just 22 years old and teaching for the first time, he handed his ninth-grade students a list of solar eclipses. He instructed them to circle the one predicted to cross their hometown near Rochester in 2024 and invited them to watch it together.

“Circle this April 8 2024 eclipse and you know what we’re gonna get together. My kids looked at me and told me I was crazy,” he said 4 decades ago.

He vowed to his students that they would witness the eclipse together. He did the same thing and invited every class he handled for the next 16 years.

Dozens showed up for the pre-party, and most of them had not seen their earth science teacher since they graduated high school. Up to 100 of his former pupils were anticipated to reassemble; even those who lived from afar flew back to Rochester to be with him on his lawn on Monday to finish their homework, which dates back 46 years.

Former Science teacher's 46-year-old promise to his students fulfilled because of the total solar eclipse
Photo Credit: Pat Moriarty

Pat Moriarty was deeply moved by the gesture of his former 9th-grade students. When asked about what the reunion meant to him, he expressed, “When I had these kids, they were ninth graders; I have a lot of gratitude now that this eclipse is supporting the fact that there’s a reunion happening. There are people sharing stories and reconnecting with each other. It’s beautiful.”

He ended the pre-party by showing gratitude as his former students remembered their promise four decades later. “I thank you guys so much for being here,” Moriarty said.


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