The Life of a Ladybug

live with intention. walk to the edge. listen hard. practice wellness. play with abandon. laugh. choose with no regret. continue to learn. appreciate your friends. do what you love. live as if this is all there is. -mary anne radmacher

Monday, November 14, 2005

Westward Ho!

Does every high school have the cast of characters that Western did circa 1991-1995? Just off the top of my head, included among them were: Mr. Evans: My 9th and 11th grade Algebra teacher, who was known for his quite stilted and weird speech patterns, calling every student by her last name, his greasy hair and penchant for listening to R&B and rap even though he was a middle-aged White man, and his stalkerish, sexual harassment tendencies. His highlights (or lowlights, whichever term you prefer): 1) Telling me that he "liked the way I wore my shirt", 2) Giving detention to girls and, when you showed up at his classroom, all the lights would be off and the shades would be drawn, 3) Getting me to sing The Cars That Go Boom! for a 90 on a test (I sorely needed it, since I sucked at math), 4) Catching Melissa in the act of cheating and literally leaping through the air and pouncing upon her, spewing spit as he declared, "I SAW YOU, YOU LITTLE WEASAL! We don't do weasel-like things in this class! You get a ZERO, OKAY?? A ZERO!" and then wadding her paper up and throwing it into the trash with venom, 5) Calling Sharonda a fat bitch and telling her she couldn't waddle her fat ass into his class with an attitude (he almost got fired for that one), 6) Drawing a caricature of an unfortunate looking girl in the class and posting it above the chalkboard and leaving it there for the rest of the year, 7) Telling me he wouldn't give me a recommendation to McDonald's when I asked him for a college rec, which resulted in me telling him that he could go to hell, 8) Ericka and I catching him feeling bras in the Hecht's at Towson Town Center, 9) Getting shot in the hand, reportedly for mouthing off a little too much to some young Black guys. Mrs. Gilbert: My 10th grade Geometry teacher. She drove to Baltimore every day from York, Pennsylvania, which really seemed quite pathetic then and still kinda does. Were there no schools in her area? Her favorite phrase was "in through there" and she made geometry the most boring subject ever, which, admittedly, wasn't hard to do. Her voice hardly ever rose above a whisper. I slept my way through her class and I don't think she ever noticed, even though I sat right in front of her desk. Mr. Gerhard: Or Mr. Gayr-hard, as he sometimes pronounced it. He wore polyester double-knit pants every day, always in a bright color with matching patterned butterfly-collar shirt, matching shoes, tie and . . . wait for it! . . . plastic comb, which he would pull from his pocket and run through his hair for our entertainment pleasure. He also had a collection of dolls that he would bring for display every year and performed in many of the school's plays. He taught Geography and American Government and laughed uproariously whenever he had to say "Lake Titicaca". He also had a skeevy sexual harrassment thing going on. Por ejemplo, he called me Toyota. When I finally asked him why, he replied, "Because I love what you do for me." Huh? Also, if you asked him for White-Out, he'd say, "Reach way back into my drawers and you'll feel something hard. If you squeeze it, it'll shoot out white stuff. Feel free to pull it out and use it." Creepy. Yet, I loved him and missed him when he left. Mrs. Miller: The Political Science teacher, who wore killer pumps every day, drank steaming hot water and scratched like she had crabs. She got certified as an aerobics instructor while I was there and was known for sitting on the desk in front of you, trying to scratch her crotch unobstrusively. Didn't work. Mr. Ball: My 9th grade English teacher, who was quite proud to be an atheist and made fun of those of us who believed in GOD. He mercilessly teased Sabrina, who was the president of the Bible Club. To her credit, she never backed down and continued to tell him that she'd pray for him. I think she even gave him a Christmas card - LOL! If he sneezed and you mistakenly told him "Bless you", he got an attitude and yelled at you about how he didn't need you to bless him! Um, isn't that a little bit overboard? He once lectured the whole class period with his fly open because all of us were too scared to let him think that we'd been looking at his crotch. He took us on good field trips, though, to see Of Mice and Men in the movies and The Grapes of Wrath as a play. I still remember the actor who played Tom Joad. Man, he was cute. The only time I ever saw Mr. Ball upset was after the OJ "car chase." He was distraught and just kept mumbling, "I hope you didn't do it, Juice." Add your own crazy teacher stories!


At November 14, 2005 12:34 PM, Blogger Tonyette said...

Since I'm also a proud Westernite, some of my teachers would be repeat offenders! I also had Mr. Evans! He was my 11th grade algebra teacher as well. I used to really be like GET OVER IT when he'd talk about his love of R&B & rap! I had Mr. Gerhard as well, for U.S. History though, and then in 12th grade for Teacher Prep. He was the BEST! I used to love listening to his stories! He once told us that to "each year my mom still makes me an Easter basket!" Mind you by this time he was in the late 50s or early 60s by this time. Toya, this comment would be 6 pages long b/c I could go on and on. So...instead I'll just be a COPYCAT and post on my blog about Western, too!

At November 14, 2005 11:14 PM, Blogger Ericka said...

I have been the crazy teacher. I go into the corner or turn to the blackboard and "talk to myself." I'm really praying. They think I'm crazy, though. Sometimes, it works.


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