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Thursday, November 09, 2006 :::

Predominant Memories

I always wonder what impression I'm making on little kids. I don't like to talk all cutesy with them and I rarely have the patience to indulge their childlike behaviors or accept their limited reasoning abilities, but I like to think I come off as pretty cool. The reason I'm worrying about it is because I was searching through my own memory for my impressions of the adults I encountered as a child, and most of my memories aren't so sweet. For instance, here are the predominant memories I have of my elementary school teachers, grades one through eight, with their names removed to protect the innocent:

Grade One: Mrs. H
Mrs. H yelled at me for squeezing Cory Hendrick's face during class. I couldn't help it, it just looked so squishy.

Grade Two: Miss R
Miss R rolled her eyes and acted put out when my mother offered a candy-stuffed pinata for my class' entertainment, then she purposefully structured the pinata-whacking list in the order of "reverse birthday" so that I would be dead last. I never even got to take a single swing at my own pinata. I was still twenty names down the wait list when another kid busted its seams. I ended up with nothing more than a Root Beer Barrel, some Butter Rum Lifesavers, and a broken spirit.

Grade Three: Mrs. Hg
Mrs. Hg's heel clicked when she walked.

Grade Four: Mrs. B
Once while helping me with a math problem, she had breath that smelled like pipe tobacco and poop.

Grade Five: Mrs. A
During the summer, I saw Mrs. A on a televised local news variety program talking about how she curbed her appetite with the help of a hypnotist. She told the reporter her success story about how she didn't even have cravings for hotdogs at ballgames anymore. I saw her in public a short time after and she greeted me with a smile before I shouted "Hey! I saw you on TV talking about how you had to get hypnotized into not eating so many hotdogs!" Her smile instantly faded and she walked off without replying.

Grade Six: Mrs. N
Mrs. N had an indistinguishable face. I can't even picture what she looked like if I close my eyes and try real hard.

Grade Seven: Mrs. Bx
Mrs. Bx shouted out the F-word after frustration with her students caused her to have a minor break down during Social Studies class.

Grade Eight: Mr. P
Mr. P once had white powdery pinch marks on his pants at the precise place his butthole would be after he picked at his own backside with his chalky fingers.

I can do that with almost every adult I ever met, and most of the predominant memories are the embarrassing or bad ones. It makes me worry about what predominant memories people will have of me. Therefore, I shall stay away from chalk and hypnotists.

::: posted by dan at 8:17 AM :: [ link ] :: (26) comments Social Bookmark Button

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26 previous comments:

You have an amazing memory Dan! I am very impressed. I remember all of the names of my teachers, but not anything quite as vivid as this!

Love the chalk guy!

By Blogger ntrudr, at 9:20 AM  

I don't have such a good school memory but I do remember Ms. Walker from Goldsboro Elementary in FL. I don't want to protect her from this she was a BI$%@. She hated me for no reason, even pushed me in the mud on a field trip. I hope she is living an awful life now. Thanks Dan I needed that....

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 AM  

i donīt even remember if i went to school or not...

By Anonymous Richard, at 12:19 PM  

Once, in an effort to be nice to a teacher I didn't like, I said hello as she passed by. Mrs. H stopped, inspected me and said, 'You need braces.' The truth is that I have straight teeth with only a slight hint of an overbite. And I hope she's retired or dead.

I'm not so nice anymore.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:25 PM  

Dan, it's odd that you plan to avoid chalk and hypnotists, .... but not kids.

By Anonymous toddbee, at 3:29 PM  

I remember my mother marching into my Grade One Class (circa. 1971) and giving Mrs Yardley a peice of her mind. Unbeknownst (sp?) to the teacher, my mother was volunteering in my brother's class next door and had overheard the teacher ridiculing me in front of the class about the duck I had not coloured yellow (I had artfully coloured it brown with green head and white neck like the local species of mallard). My mother had come in just as all the kids were laughing at me and I was in tears.
After yelling at the teacher she reached over and grabbed the whistle about the teacher's neck and blew it point blank into the teacher's ear.
The next morning, the teacher arrived to find a family of mallards in the room complete with shit across her desk. I 'know nothing' about it - mother was 'busy' volunteering that day too.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:15 PM  

Um...that duck comment has left me speechless.

By Blogger Elle Marie, at 4:53 PM  

My third grade teacher was skinny when she was my teacher than got married over the summer and proceeded to gain approximately 150 pounds over the next school year. Her breath also smelled bad and not being able to identify the smell I determined that it must be anchovies because I didn't know what anchovies smelled like, but they were the worst thing I could think of to smell like. Turns out it was cigarettes and coffee breath.

By Blogger Biglug, at 9:06 PM  

You and I both had Mr. P.

My predominant memory:

Talking about the plants and him doing a rotational hip thrust to "Uranus rotates in a counter clockwise direction".


He thought he was being clever.


By Anonymous harticj, at 9:36 PM  

Ooops. That was supposed to be "Planets" not "plants"

By Blogger Colleen, at 9:38 PM  

My third-grade teacher accused me of faking my sick note because my mom wrote it quickly in the car.

By Blogger kate, at 11:46 PM  

i hate teachers! they're like scary clowns as far as i'm concerned. it's just so awful what they do to kids.

i love the duck story, hooray for mom!!!!

and the "plants" vs. "planets" comment just slayed me(i went into hysterics over it).

amazing memory dan! love the pinata story cause it's so typical of the power teachers wield over their students, UGH. did i mention they remind me of hideous, scary clowns? no really, seriously. the mr. p story is just nasty but tff!!

By Anonymous august, at 4:26 AM  

Thank you, August, for making such a sweeping generalisation about all teachers.

I am hated, because I am an awful, scary clown.

Thanks for making my day.

I was planning on sharing a couple of primary (elementary) school memories akin to Dan's, but I'm not sure if they'll be welcome now.

By Blogger alivicwil, at 6:40 AM  

Yeah, I'm with alivicwil. Teachers used to be respected people in this country but no longer. They have one of the hardest jobs but get paid crap and have to deal with everyone criticizing them. And now the Feds with their ridiculous No Child Left Behind law are punishing teachers for their students problems.

I think Dan's point was not that his teachers were bad people, just that he only remembers bad stuff. He thinks he's a good, cool person, but doesn't want kids to just remember the bad in him.

I think we all have bad teacher memories, but we all have bad parent memories too, and I think and hope we all have great teacher memories as well. They just don't make for good planetdan humorous reading material.

No, I'm not a teacher, but my husband was, and is now getting his PhD in education so he can be a professor and get out of a job that treated him so poorly.

By Anonymous Zoe, at 7:44 AM  

My first grade teacher Mrs. Cooper thought that intelligence was determined solely by how well one could use those plastic safety scissors. Every worksheet involved cutting something out and she would critique our skills instead of teaching us how to read or not get kidnapped. John Carr sat beside me and his math-cream cone was all jagged, and she shook her permed, Q-tip-looking head in disgust. My cones weren't jagged so I thought I'd be spared even though I had to use the left-handed scissors. Nope. She said I didn't have a uniform border on mine then she cackled madly and ate a baby.

Harold Cook was the only one in the class who did it right, probably the high point of his educational career since in 9th grade he threw up from eating alum, in 10th grade he tried 9th grade again, and in 11th grade he married his cousin.

As far as I know, Mrs. Cooper will never die.

By Blogger J-Money, at 8:38 AM  

Why were you looking at Mr. P's butt?

Tobacco and poop?? Dan, Dan, Dan...what r we gonna do with you?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:17 PM  

Mrs. Goodwin, my 4th grade teacher pulled me & 2 other hispanic girls out of class to lecture us on hygeine. I remember how shiny that girl's hair was and I know my mom would not have sent me to school stinky! I guess she didn't like us...oh yeah and she had real short nails and painted them blood red. Her hands reminded me of Frankenstein's in the old picture shows.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:07 PM  

wow alivicwil, i guess my sarcasm was lost on you. it was all in fun really. i agree with zoe actually. in a country where sports & rock stars are way overpaid, our society is so backwards.

teachers need to be paid the most because of what they accomplish day in & day out. i know i couldn't do it, in fact i was going to be a music teacher when i first got into college but then changed my mind once i really started seeing what was involved!

By Anonymous August, at 3:52 AM  

Thanks August. :-)

By Anonymous Zoe, at 2:04 PM  

I think I became a teacher because I wanted to save kids from the things I had to deal with. How about a social studies teach who slapped a slide with an outline of whatever we were studying onto the overhead projector, took off his shoes, and sat on the radiator. Eeew! THAT, my friends, was active teaching, right? How about a SUBSTITUTE TEACHER in the first grade who told me to stop crying and acting like a baby when I lost all of my Smith Brothers cough drops (a big responsibility at age 6) at the bus stop before school?
How about teachers who wore the same thing two days in the row? Yuck.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:46 PM  

1st Grade (1976-77): Mrs. V would punish us by rapping our knuckles with a yard stick (or was it a wooden pointer?) that she carried around.

4th Grade: Mr. P would throw chalk and erasers at kids who were "out of line". He threw really hard and he was pretty accurate.

6th Grade: Mr. B. I got some award-type-thing and was among few students who got to go to an exclusive pizza party. We took Mr. B's car, an old (79?) Honda Civic hatchback. I somehow got stuck riding in the back. Inside it was a complete mess. Garbage everywhere. Filth and film. Just gross. Underneath the driver's seat I saw something that creeps me out to this day... the most disgusting pair of tighty whiteys ever.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:55 PM  

my most vivid memory of elementary school was my 6th grade teacher - her fingernails were always purple from the "ditto machine" and AHHHHH the smell of freshly printed "dittos" I loved that!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:14 PM  

Grade 2, Mrs. S.W.: Caught me chewing on the inside of my cheek, something I still do (bad habits are hard to break), and told me to spit out my gum. When I told her I wasn't chewing any gum she called me a liar in front of the whole class and told me to get out.

Grade 3, Mrs. S: Sent my ADD friend down to the office every day because she didn't want to deal with him until he finally couldn't handle it any more and ran at her with a baseball bat. She also "retired" in the middle of the year. We found out later that our class actually gave her a nervous break down.

Grade 4, Mrs R: Sent me to the office (the only teacher who ever did) because after she yelled at me over nothing she heard me call her a bum under my breath.

Grade 5, Mr. P: Put his feet up on his desk while reading to the class and totally farted.

Grade 6, Mr. H: Would routinely mock me in front of the class until I was in tears and the rest of the class was laughing at me. Also thought it was hilarious that I was so upset by the idea of dissecting frogs, so he went and got one of the dead frogs and dangled in front of me and then broke its jaw trying to make it talk. I still hate that asshole.

Grade 7, Mr. Pd: Actually got into a childish screaming match with me because I a) disagreed that it's possible to teach someone to draw and b) asked him to stop speaking to my friend like she was stupid.

Grade 7, Mrs. Argue (I'm not making that up): She was the band teacher. When I told her I quit band she hit me, in front of a room full of people (the other teacher in the room later denied that she had hit me). My mother was none too happy about that one.

Grade 8, Mr. T: used to use his hands instead of the chalkboard eraser and then lick his chalky fingers, which made me gag. He also took his glasses off by grabbing the lense, so he always had chalky fingerprints all over them.

Grade 8, Mr. B: He and Mr. T used to go "check their tires" in the staff parking lot every recess. Funny how checking you tires makes you smell exactly like you went out for a smoke. (Mr. B was and is, however, the best teacher ever.)

By Anonymous Gwenhwyfar, at 6:04 PM  

We have these funny stories about our teachers for three reasons:

1. We spent more time with them than we did with our own parents. Of course we're going to witness the moments when their humanity causes them to be less than perfect.

2. Most of us are at an age that our elementary school teachers were women that were offered three choices if they wanted to be anything other than housewives. Our teachers were the ones that didn't want to be secretaries or nurses. A lot of them would have been better suited in a different job but didn't have that option.

3. If society paid teachers more and made it harder to get tenure, we would have more talented, socially adept people to compete for and keep the jobs, weeding our the chalkbutts of society.

I taught high school English and Social Studies for five years and hate being painted with the same brush as teachers that humiliate kids and hand out the same ditto worksheets from 15 years earlier.

However, have I farted while walking around the room checking their work and simply walked away from the area I was in, letting some unfortunate kid take the fall? Absolutely. Everybody's human.

By Blogger PrincessMax, at 11:58 PM  

Oh God.... This was in elementary, 2nd grade I think. We were coloring for a while and then the teacher said something like, "Ok Class, time for reading!"
So, I made a frowny-pouting face .....cuz I wanted to continue coloring. The artard kid infront of me told on me saying that I stuck my tounge out at him. I tried explaining this to the teacher that I was pouting but she didn't have my word and made me stand in front of a wall with my toungue sticking for what seemed like 10 hours ( I don't remember how long it was). I hate that kid....and that teacher who wouldn't listen me.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:42 PM  

You know the old joke: "hey, your epididymis is showing?" A girl in my class asked a substituted teacher this, he looked down toward his crotchal area and asked "which part?" EWWWWWWWW!!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 AM  

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