It is a lucky person who can answer with a single word the two following questions: "What's your profession?" and "What's your passion?"
Teaching, is the answer Gary Lemco would give to both.
"It kind of chose me," Lemco says, "and I just stayed with it." For 40 years Lemco has stayed with teaching, most recently as an English teacher at San Jose's Santa Teresa High School. In fact, it seems that Lemco is incapable of not teaching, regardless of what he is doing.
Every Thursday evening, for example, Lemco hosts a classical music program on KZSU, Stanford University's campus radio station. It is as much instruction on musical theory and history as it is a radio show. "I have an ugly habit of persistence," Lemco adds. "What can I say?"
Even when Lemco is not being paid to teach, he teaches. Every Monday after classes are over at San Jose's Santa Teresa High School, Lemco opens up his classroom for an hour-long SAT prep class. Any student is welcome. The cost is nothing.
"I want everyone to have the same, equal playing field and I'm going to make that possible," Lemco says.
As a (sometimes) paid tutor himself, Lemco says he understands the value of what he is giving away for free. A professional tutor service can easily cost a family thousands of dollars to prepare a student for the SAT test.
Even if a student shows up for just one of Lemco's prep sessions, he's happy. It was a chance, however small, to get a little teaching in. "You're going to walk out of here knowing something that you didn't know before."