Richard Julian was a history teacher aged 47. He had worked at a high school in Minnesota for the last two years. It was well liked and appreciated by the rest of the staff and by his students, but he was also known to be a man of strange habits. One day, those habits would raise suspicions among his peers. He was a bit of a recluse who had never invited any of his colleagues to his place.
Although he rarely talked about his personal life, some said he had a strange aura around him, one that made him come across as someone different from everyone else. Some would even say that his aura was uncanny, but weren’t they justified in saying so? The truth is that nothing seemed to support those suspicions at face value.
Talking to Julian, he came across as a nice, mild-mannered guy, although he always seemed a bit distant and impersonal. Maybe his politeness and discretion made some people think that this was some kind of front. Maybe he was hiding something behind his behavior. However, as it’s been said before, everything about him seemed irreproachable. He was never late to work. His students consistently passed and were motivated about his subject. He never had a problem with any member of the staff. Of course, it’s hard to have any issue with a man who mainly keeps to himself and walks around trying to be unnoticed as Julian did. But perhaps that was just a deliberate act.
After a while of knowing Julian, the thought that he might be trying to keep something secret was something that naturally popped into one’s head. The man was absolutely private and agreeable, and he seemed to be deliberately trying to be as easygoing as possible. At work, he conducted himself with such perfect discreetness that one could only think that it was a voluntary and calculated move. But Julian was never caught in anything suspicious. He had been working in the same high school for seven years and no one had anything on him.
But one day something happened that would change everything. It was a heavy winter that year in Minnesota. For most of February, snow was covering the roads fairly often. Some days were worse than others, but school was still open. And of course, Julian was still giving us glasses. But his behavior started to change every day. He started staying around the school after the day was finished. The explanation he gave was that he wanted to grade some exams and would rather do it at his workplace than at home. At first, it didn’t seem like anything too weird, but it was a change in the habits of an otherwise very structured and organized person. That alone was enough to make some of the members of the staff.
Iffy soon the principal became aware that he stayed there even after the maintenance staff had left, which was very late in the evening. Now that did sound a little weird and suspicious, which is why the principal decided to install a camera in Julian’s classroom to see what was going on. When he took a look at the tapes, what he saw was puzzling. Richard Julian was staying in his classroom all day.
He would sleep thereafter the maintenance staff was gone, and then early in the morning he would go to the gym’s locker rooms to take a shower and shave. A history teacher had just started to live in the school 24 hours a day. But what could be the reasons for this? By the time the principal had set up the camera, some of Julian’s students were already suspecting something as well. They had noticed Julian staying in the classroom until laden were also wondering why. One day in March, when the weather was getting a little bit better, they noticed Julian had started leaving the workplace after class, just like before, and they decided to follow him. What they saw then was astonishing.
After his shift, Richard Julian didn’t go to his house. Instead, he went to a van. The students waited in the cold to see what Julian was doing inside the van, but their teacher wasn’t coming out. They decided to get closer and look through the windows and at that moment Julian saw them and came out. Julian was surprised and asked them what they were doing there. When he noticed the kids weren’t able to articulate an answer, he knew they had followed him and were curious about what he was up to.
At this point, Julian broke down and told them he had been living in that van for months now. He lost his house behind his peaceful character in mild manners, and Julian had a crippling gambling habit that had turned his life into hell. He had a lot of debts, was absolutely bankrupt, and he had to rent that van to live in. But during the winter it was too cold. On top of that, the roads were too covered in snow to drive the van to work. That’s why he had been spending nights in the school. The van wasn’t even his.
He felt like his job in his classroom was all he truly had. The students told the principal about it and he decided to take some measures. He raised Julian’s salary and loaned him some money to pay back his debts and enable him to get back on his feet. Also, Julian’s students joined to collect some money from their own pockets. In order to help their teacher out. They gifted him $1200 in the middle of a class Tieri. The teacher embraced all his students and thanked them for the gesture.