Fibucetera 17, 40 A.B.
Mass. --- A substitute teacher has been
from the city's schools for telling his 7th grade
'Hitler is cool.' The teacher told administrators
meant that Adolf Hitler is dead so his
Oh, those wild and crazy educators!
Made me think back to my own days under the thumb of wacky pedagogues.
Like the substitute I had in 5th grade who went straight to the teacher's
desk and proceeded to read a paperback novel for an hour or so. Then
fell asleep, mouth agape, while we took bets on whether she had actually
And the substitute I had as a junior in high school who had us move all
our seats as close to the walls as possible so that he might use the clear
center floor to wrestle us, one by one....
I tremble to think what those administrators in Peabody might have done
with him even if he was (as it turned out) an undercover narc....
But perhaps administrators in Massachusetts reserve their attentions for
If that's the case, what would they have done with Mr. Current? Mr.
C. was my 8th grade Social Studies teacher. It was near the end of
the year and I and a few other students were in his car, being driven back
from some field trip. The safety guards were already out and at their
posts by the time we neared the school. As we passed one of the more
mature girl guards all us boys adored, Mr. C. turned to me and said, "Boy,
I'd sure like to have her working for me on that corner!"
OK, so teachers were woefully underpaid back then - even more so
than now. That fact can hardly explain Mr. C.'s taking it upon himself
to teach his students the correct medical terms for several of the rarely
seen parts of the human body which had nonetheless been making their way
into the conversation of the students in the form of slang terms.
Not exactly a standard part of the Social Studies curriculum, but it's
always good to see a teacher taking on additional tasks without demanding
a salary increase, isn't it? Oddly enough, few people saw it that
way when these correct medical terms started appearing on rest room walls
and the local paper decided to make a big deal about it. Still, Mr.
C. was not suspended, and I'm glad, otherwise my letters to the editor
about George W. Bush might now be studded with the term "pee-pee head"
instead of the one his doctors probably use behind his back.
Speaking of politics, I believe it was my 8th grade shop teacher, Mr. Vaulderburger,
who first taught me about the qualities we should look for in our leaders.
If memory serves correctly, his lesson went something like this:
"And that jerk, Kissinger, makes me sick. Running off to Paris to
shack up with some blonde while our boys are dying in Vietnam. If
that bastard Nixon had only ordered him to hold those goddamn peace talks
in Indiana, this war would over by now."
Mr. V. was also the one who took the time to teach us students to always
use a straight edge to draw a line and never a ruler if we didn't
want him to carry through on his gruffly delivered daily threat to "crack
How glad I am that he's not teaching shop in these days of hyper-sensitive
political correctness which mandate both respect for students and
that everything's that taught by a shop teacher actually have some connection
to industrial arts.
I had to wait until 9th grade to have my Basic House Wiring instructor
explain to me the essence of Watergate.
"Lawyers are liars," Mr. Yakkee told us. "Lawyers are liars.
That's what I've always said, and it's true. Just look at all those
people in Washington, going before Congress and the press and lying their
heads off to save their asses. It's a shame you kids have to see
that. And now the American Psychiatric Association has just decided
homosexuality is no longer a sickness. That's because there are so
many f*gg*t psychiatrists, you know. It's a shame! Anyway,
today we're going to learn how to wire a hallway light controlled by two
Today, of course, it's impossible to proselytize in the classroom, but
apparently it wasn't when I was in school - and look how well I came out
as a result.
I can still recall the day Mr. Moosebeak told us that "Jesus would be coming
back in the year 2000 because it'll have been exactly 2000 years since
he was born. Think about it. It makes sense. It makes
Mr. Moosebeak was my 8th grade science teacher.
I had to wait a long three years after that for my next lesson in theology.
This time, wisdom came from my Radio & TV Repair instructor.
"The paper said today that there's now enough nuclear weapons on earth
to throw the planet out of orbit. I just hope you all believe in
God and are praying. I once had a student in here - a smart guy -
and I asked him one day if he believed in God. He said he didn't.
I asked him why. He said that for years he had prayed before he went
to bed. He thought he'd die if he didn't. Then one night he
forgot to pray and he didn't die. So he stopped believing in God.
Now what kind of sense does that make?!"
I sure didn't know. None of us did, judging from the utter silence
in the classroom.
What a relief it was when we took our final exam in Radio & TV Repair
and there wasn't a single question pertaining to this material.
Despite the stiff competition, however, my favorite teacher remains Mr.
Faff. Mr. Faff was my high school Algebra teacher as well as my chess
club adviser and he really excelled at both even though he liked to show
Laurel and Hardy movies during class and couldn't tell a pawn from a hole
in the ground.
No, no - he wasn't my favorite teacher because he showed those movies.
He was my favorite teacher because one day he chose me out of a
class of 36 to go to the teacher's lounge with him and listen as he vented
about the collapse of his marriage and how he was literally going crazy
because his wife was now out of state, screwing another man. The
other teachers there politely got up and left as Mr. F. continued his tale
on the broken down couch we shared, often slapping my knee for emphasis.
I think I got an "A" that term.
As a chess club adviser, he was just as remarkable. His one and only
responsibility was to get us to and from our matches, which could be at
any school in the county.
I can still recall the cold, wintry night he packed all six of us players
in the old, smoking Corvair his wife had left him and then raced over icy
back country roads to get us home in time for him to get back to waiting
for a call from her that never came, David Bowie's "Fame" blaring loudly
enough from the radio to almost completely drown out the sounds of skidding
wheels, train whistles, and the memory of a TV news report on how little
it took to explode a Corvair's gas tank....
To think that I might have been deprived of these educational experiences
had I been a modern-day student in Peabody, Massachusetts!
To think that these teachers of mine might actually have been suspended
for what they did or said!
It makes me want to cry.
Or laugh my head off.
If only I could now recall which my role model had done first that day
he lost it in the lounge....
Back To Read Your Make-Up Assignment
To Tomorrow's Lesson:
Blather For Slow Chucklers"
(©Now by Jester,
Professional Teacher's Pet)