By Connor Veenstra, staff writer, Huron Daily Tribune
March 18, 2022
UBLY, MICHIGAN: David Jaroch of Ubly describes himself as “a spent in the village, he learned valuable lessons in poverty, since he was paid very little; how to experience other cultures, since each tribe had their own; and it sharpened his problem solving skills, which he would carry the rest of his life.
“When you go to a city where nobody speaks English and you’re hungry, you’ve got to figure it out,” he said.
After returning to the Thumb and settling in Ubly, Jaroch and his wife, also a teacher, began a teaching career that led them to schools in Port Huron, Parisville, Port Hope, and Ubly.
Jaroch taught every subject as a problem-solving exercise, even subjects like English, which at first glance have no problems to solve.
“If there’s a message you’ve got to get across, how do you vocalize it?” he explained. “How do you express your ideas clearly to get people onboard?”
Jaroch has been retired for 13 years now, but still teaches four days a week at Jaroch’s Yoga, his own studio in Ubly. He traveled to California, Denver, and even India to study yoga, and he’s always looking to learn more.
“No matter how old they are, you can learn from (your students),” he said. “It’s not a one-way street. You always learn when you’re teaching.”
According to Jaroch, the best thing any teacher can learn is patience and understanding.
“That’s a lifelong pursuit, finding patience and understanding,” he said. “Everybody is unique and every day is unique. Never expect the same person the next day. Teach the person that’s there today, not the one you thought you had yesterday.”
Some lessons, though, have come harder than others. When Jaroch was in high school, he lost two fingertips trying to fix a snowmobile, putting his fingers through the chain and sprocket when the engine was running.
“Every day I look at my fingers and remind myself to slow down,” he said.
Jaroch has been heavily involved in his home town, having been Ubly village president three times, a village council member, and has spent two years as the commissioner.
Through his years in Ubly, in and out of government service, he’s watched the village change. According to him, Ubly was once a very tight-knit community, where many of the residents were related to one another. People not from the village often didn’t live there and property was often exchanged between relatives.
He recalled an old saying that went, “I know where my next house is: it’s 10 years away. Waiting for auntie to die.”
Now, though, he sees an Ubly that’s generally more welcoming of new people and sees people of different backgrounds from outside the village come to live there.
Jaroch has lived an interesting life and he’s still not done. He still has lessons to learn.
“More problems to solve,” he said.