Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Old Jr High Teacher

My niece told me of horror stories of a Jr High teacher she had this year. This teacher was a midget tyrant to the kids, yet tried to earn their pity & sympathy. She sold them pencils for $.25 (when a pack of 72 is 4.99). When she didn't sell many during the week she'd make small comments like "guess groceries will be light this week". Yes! She'd complain about pay and 'poverty' to students (yeah with her lavish benefits). Looking at unemployment rates and food stamp stats, some of these kids could be on govt help or have a parent out of work, unlike this teacher who will have the summer off to supplement her pay. We swapped stories about her like old ballplayers about surviving her antics.

Even before I had her as a teacher, I knew of her dirty tricks. To protect myself from libel charges... RUMOR WAS... She was so devious as a parent, that as a member of the school board in her child's school district, she called her child's high school and demanded they re-weight different courses. Lo & behold, her child magically became valedictorian of his high school class by the slimmest of margins. Yes, she was the caricature of the dirty, small town politician, using her office for her own gain (sadly she's still involved in politics, as is her son). She couldn't help but represent the oppressed, only to oppress others.

When I had her as a teacher in the early 90s, she was middle aged and not as depressed sounding as she is now. She was incredibly angry, and had a bit of that leftover nostalgia from the 60s in her. It would bubble up when discussing the 60s, how the kids of the 60s grew up to be corporate parents of the 80s, Vietnam, the Kennedys, Civil Rights, etc. She made a critical error of explaining how her current husband (no. 2) was a draft dodger. In a class with multiple kids of Vietnam vets and kids like me who had family that served in that war, we sat bug eyed over that revelation. It was not cool. What was less cool was her acting all nicey nice to my parents at every teacher-parent meeting or public event, but being a witch in class to me.

Later in the year, we read a terrible book about some kid whose dad died in Vietnam and his adoptive sister who was Vietnamese turns out to be his half-sister and he goes to the wall to blah blah blah melodrama learn some lesson. As a student who visited the wall in DC with family, the teacher asked me to describe it. I talked for maybe 2 mins about seeing it. She then talked about sacrifice and the people who went. Even as a kid I couldn't resist, and I said "uhhh, yeah but didn't your husband go to Canada instead?" A handful of my friends exploded with laughter and then the entire class giggled and did that 'choke on a laugh' thing. Yeah, this was detention. Freedom of speech didn't exist in that class, so I got detention and my friends who first hooted it up. It was worth it.

Her son would show up before school sometimes to talk to his mom, and he'd even substitute teach some days. I am 99% certain he is unmarried still and because he can't get married in the state. As only a stupid college kid would, he'd pick pseudo-intellectual arguments with 14 year olds. We didn't know shit about shit, but he'd bicker with us. Usually, when a dumb 14 year old would not 'listen' to his reasoning and act like a dumb 14 year old normally does, he'd get red faced and sweaty. Mind you, this jack ass is involved in politics with my home state's representation in Congress far higher than he should be.

At that point in my life (7th grade), my school 'system' was taking shape. I was bored by most classes, could ace everything, always looked for 'fun' in class, and had little respect for authority figures I deemed incompetent. After the detention for calling her hubby out for being a draft dodger, I decided to turn the jets up with small rebellions and pranks. Eventually, I had to stop it all the day I pranked her precious Diet Coke. Everyday she got a Diet Coke. Never did her any good. She also had a Diet Coke can holding her crappy carnation on her desk. At this point in the year, she had moved my desk to the front of the class right by her desk. She bought her soda, left the room right before the class bell and I swapped the cans. I played it cool and waited for her first sip. She spit it out on the floor, and yelled "Who did it?!?!?!?" Class was silent. My friend Tom raises his hand, she yells "TOM!" and he says "what Mrs. XX, did what?" She then incorrectly says "Who poured flower water into my Coke!?!?". Class was silent. I was lucky no one saw me. Then she laid out the ultimatum, "If no one admits to it, you all get detention for the week". I had to play Babar as usual in school, and admitted to it "I swapped your coke cans". I wanted her to know it was all gross water. I got detention for a week again. God, I remember this all too clearly that I even got giddy just typing it. Heck, my niece laughed hearty belly laughs just thinking about that fat piece of sh*t chugging and then spitting the dirty water out.

Sad part is, my cousin has her next year. I'm sending her a packet of pencils so she never has to buy a pencil and give that piece of shit any money. Hmmm, maybe she could sell pencils for $.10 and undercut that teacher. Awesome idea!!!

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