Thursday, July 27, 2006

Memory Lane

I started packing today. I mostly sorted papers. I found a lot of things that I had forgotten all about. Pictures from high school. An extra-special Publications Pass that I could use to get into anything (events or games), or out of anything (class). Scripts for conversations with the boy that I had a crush on all through high school (I'd get nervous!). Letters from my host-family to my mom, in amusing English (for example, a letter about a "put-luck" that we were going to). A note that I passed with one of my sisters during a sacrament meeting, all about my first kiss.

I found a bunch of fun things.

Some of the best things that I found were in the marginalia that I'd written during a couple of my classes.

I present, for your entertainment, four entertaining education-themed stories or lists of quotes. I'll present them in chronological order, I guess.

1. Science class, 6th grade.
I had a teacher who didn't like me. I was too much of a goody-goody, by her standards. One time we were doing group work, and we had to switch stations and solve a scientific mystery. My group was not working on stuff at all. They were gossiping about their friends, and discussing weekend plans, and that sort of thing. We were running out of time and didn't have our work done. I told them nicely (but a few times) that we should focus, so that we didn't lose points. The teacher got mad at me for asking them to get back to our assignment. Other times, the teacher would pick her nose, and chase students around the room, trying to wipe her booger on them. If she decided she didn't like someone in class, she would shout "Raise your hand if you think Johnny's a looooooserrrrr!" And she'd raise her hand and everyone was supposed to raise their hands. I'm sometimes sensitive, but she made me cry on more than one occasion. I would complain to my mom, who would complain to the office. My mom came on a field trip because she couldn't believe my wild stories that I would come home with, but the teacher behaved really differently when parents were around. The school assigned me to a 7th grade science class that she taught, and I think that was the beginning of me choosing my own schedules even when they were set for us. The next year, she was gone. I don't know what happened.

2. English class, sophomore year of high school.
My high school was a competitive one. For the statewide standardized-testing, we had weekly school-wide test-preparation classes. During sophomore year, everyone (and I do mean everyone) learned to write essays well. Really, I think it was the only thing I learned in high school. My teacher was also the drama teacher, and she was very dramatic. In everything. The way she spoke, her behavior...everything was dramatic. As I was sorting papers, I found an essay from her class with a comment that reads: "D+ (Would have been an A- except for that "could" in your final paragraph.)" I used the word "could" in the very last sentence of my essay, and so my grade dropped from an A to a D! (It was actually kind of funny, too, because the essay was about my trip to Chicago. Yeah. A trip that I never actually went on. She would give us stupid prompts, but didn't mind if we made things up.)

On another occasion, the same teacher made me move my desk to the front of the class, and sit facing all of my peers for 2 or 3 weeks. I'd forgotten my rough draft at home when we were supposed to have it, so she told me I was not allowed completing the essay and instead would do grammar exercises as I faced the class.

At the end of the last day of school, about half of the people in my class started packing up their things early. They left probably 5 minutes before the bell rang, excusing us. She did not like it at all, and told those of us that stayed (for the last 2 minutes of class) that we should get out a piece of paper and write a haiku. It was our "final assignment" and it was worth 500 points; much, much more than the final exam had been worth. All of those people who had gotten up and left...well...too bad for them.

3. Civics class, senior year of high school.
I had an old, short, bald man who had attended Harvard and was brilliant. He was...Persian maybe? and had a big accent. He had a doctorate. He knew everything about the government. He really did. He believed in hard work. He was also a democrat, and had the sneaky habit of stating his opinions as facts. I called him on it one time, and he agreed with me. And after that, whenever he said something that sounded like opinion but was based on real evidence, he would finish it deliberately "Miss [Mylastname], that is a fact." During the year, Bush won the election (for his first term as President), and I brought celebratory cupcakes for my whole class. They were "confetti" style with red dots on the inside, and had red sugar on top, and BUSH! written on them. He let us eat them, and even ate one himself.
But anyway, I found quotes that I'd written down in my planner...

"The US Steel Co...The President told him to go to hell, in essence."

"If you mix up these scantrons you will pay a hell of a consequence."

(while reading grades) "You have a C." [some girl "C?"] "C. You know like sea like the ocean sea."

(talking about another teacher) "I called him a big haus[?]. He thought I called him a big ass. He wasn't very nice about that."

"Blonds have more fun. If I were a brunette, I would not agree. And we don't have any redheads in here. They have a lot of fun."

(someone asked a question and he looked turned to a different girl...) "Well, Blondie, you wanna tell her?"

He had a little card that was printed really nicely, not just hand-written, and it said "I don't know about that, but it sounds like BS to me." He would hold it up to respond to things we said, sometimes.

"You are a student and you don't give a damn. Then we get a society of citizens who don't give a damn. And a damn government. And then you b**** like hell."

He told us about an assignment "you may call it a project." and we mmmed and he said "Now that's tremendous enthusiasm for learning!"

4. English class, sophomore year of college.
I had a really funny lady, who was very direct. She would get mad if we didn't bring coffee to her class, or at least something to eat or drink, so that we didn't lose interest. She also taught us how to be good students by using "the thinking nod" and a look of sudden comprehension. She was very sarcastic with us, and was amused when we were sarcastic back.

"If you really don't know what the heck something means, then don't put it in the essay. Because then I read it and know that you don't know what you're talking about."

"Gosh, you're saying she's a fictional, imaginary person created by a dead Greek guy?"

"Soo, should you be a bas**** or be nice? [class replies, "Be a bas****!"] OK. That pretty much sums up that chapter."

"Wherefore: it's a fancy and pretentious form of 'therefore' that none of you are EVER allowed to use."

"By the way. Is following the rules in here [The Prince] a straight ticket to hell? Suuure! But it doesn't matter because politics and morality are completely unrelated."

To the class, about our final exam: "I showed it to my office mate and when he saw it, he said I should put mattresses in the parking lot so that when you fling yourself [over the third story railing] you'll have somewhere to land."

Good times.


zookeeper08 said...

Ah, School. Too funny. I guess it's amazing if any of us get through unscathed.

My "favorite" memory was of sometime in middle school when the big, black, female teacher cocked back her arm holding an eraser and said menecingly, "Want me to practice my baseball skills?" at a student who annoyed her.

Yes, she really intended to throw the eraser at him...

Things like that you never forget.

Lavish said...

Heyyy... How come we didn't pass notes about your first kiss?

dimmi said...

Lavish-- You hadn't kissed anyone yet, and my other sister had. Of course I wanted to talk to her about it first. She understood and you didn't.