Thursday, March 08, 2007

How Was School Today?

When I look back to my early years of school, I'm pretty sure that the sixth grade has the most meaning for me. I feel that way for a variety of reasons, but I think the biggest reason would have to be the teacher. That particular year, for whatever reason, we didn't change classes and had the same teacher all day and I'm absolutely positive that I learned more in school that year than any year before or after which I must attribute to our teacher, Mr B. That year was also special because it was the first time that I read "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," because of the numerous references to them made by Mr B. He was well read, comical, and could really hold your attention during a lecture - or telling a story, but the most important thing about him was that he was unconventional. He didn't like the system and the system didn't like him. I remember he would bribe us to do our homework by telling us that if everyone brought in their homework for the entire week, we could spend the last half of Friday outside doing what ever we wanted to, as a class. It only took one ass chewing by the whole class to never forget you homework, again. On several occasions, we were busted for being outside (classes had to have special permission) by the administrators and Mr B. was reprimanded. There was even one morning that he showed up late and told the class that he was ill (and he looked it) but was going to have to stay because he'd gotten up too late for a substitute. He then proceeded to inform us that we could do as we pleased, all day, as long as we could (please) do it quietly. Next, he made out a list (in obvious agony) of 11 guys to take turns watching the door with 30 minute shifts. After giving the guys (I was one of them) their door watching assignment, he proceeded to the back of the room, climbed atop our work table and promptly fell asleep. With the exception of lunch and while diligent students, ready to sound the alarm, guarded the room against unwanted intruders, Mr B. spent the entire day sleeping through his illness of what occurred to me several years later as a bitch of a hangover.

That year was a very enlightening year because of introductions to actual "authors," short story writing, and more of an in-depth approach to science and math. I also remember that, after school, my biggest concern was getting home to watch "Battle of the Planets" and reruns of "Speed Racer," and then bury my head in a book until time for bed. It was at some point during that period that I discovered there was not only wonder in the world, but that I could create it.

What's my point? Well, (I've gone on longer than I intended - just kind of got carried away) my recollection of all this started when I read this article concerning the two sixth grade students who had sex in shop class. Of course, still being the kid that I am, my first thought was, "Why the hell didn't we get to have shop class when I was in sixth grade," and my second thought, showing a little more maturity was, "Shop class? Couldn't that be dangerous?" Basically, the gist of the story is that two sixth grade students "completed the act of intercourse" while ten other students witnessed the event. Apparently, the two students 'built their birdhouse' while the teacher was in another part of the room and a fellow student acted as a look-out. At some point, the teacher discovered what had transpired and the two students (they never mentioned if it was a male and female) were recommended for expulsion although no disciplinary action has been confirmed and the administration and staff have kept the event under wraps for four months. And while the adult side of me is shocked (okay, not shocked but definitely surprised), the less adult side of me can't help but imagine what the look on my mother's face would have been like if, in response to her "What'd you do in school, today?" inquiry, I had replied, "I got laid!"


Chris said...

Grade 6??? You've got to be kidding. Man when I was in grade 6 boys still had coodies(or was it kooties?). I feel really really really old.

I had quite a few really great teachers all through my school days, and some duds too. Education wise I peaked at grade 10 and then I sort of coasted through the rest of it. I just don't think I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. That and class scheduling confilcts. I couldn't take drama and drafting as the classes were held at the same time. I coulda been an architect.

I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up ;>)

John Taylor said...

hi chris
I'm right there with you - I guess I'll figure out what I want to be when I decide to (finally) grow up.