Thursday, October 18, 2007

Science Teacher Nostalgia

I have to say that 90% of the teachers I have had in my life have been very, very good. Kind for the most part and if not overtly kind, then masters at their craft. Even the ones I did not like, I have found, have taught me some very important life lessons. Some of them were goofy, some nerdy, some funny and some very personable.

But there are always those few that stick out in your mind. The cruel ones leave too lasting an impression and the crazy ones are always good for a laugh. I'm going to share with you some about the crazy ones. I'm sure you can relate. :-)

Mr. Coleman..... our high school Chemistry/Physics teacher. The absolute epitome of the absent-minded professor. He had a glass eye and we used his limited field of vision to our advantage. The row of desks on the blind side was always goofing off.... throwing paper, passing notes .... whatever mischief could be quietly accomplished. He was obsessed with being sure we didn't cheat. He would hide in the chemical storage room and peek through a hole in the door to watch us during test... like we couldn't see his eyeball pressed up to the hole! He would also walk outside (our classroom was right next to a breezeway connecting two buildings) and look in the windows.... again, like we couldn't see a six foot tall man peering in the giant windows that ran the length of the classroom. The irony is.... the one time he caught us cheating (because the dumb kid was too dumb not to cheat for a C instead of an A) he let us keep the grades! Just told us not to do it again. He took our Science Club on a trip to conduct an experiment (Jennifer... remember your tortoise project?) and went to sleep on the interstate while driving the school bus!

Mrs. Youmans was a prize too. She was 101 (okay it just seemed that way) and really should have retired years before we had her. Also a Science teacher. She was elderly and her vision was not good. She would look at one of us and direct a question to someone completely across the room. The person being questioned would say: "uh, Are you talking to me, Mrs. Youmans?" and she'd get mad and say: "I know who I'm talking to! I ain't wall-eyed!" (southernism for not blind). We could get her completely off-topic by asking her to share stories about her childhood. We'd spend a class period learning about how she and her brothers tried to dig holes to China instead of memorizing the properties of minerals.

Mrs. Radford. Not a teacher of mine, but of my brothers and sisters AND my parents (one negative to living in a small town is that teachers see your last name and instantly know your lineage and recall the good and bad experiences they had with the relatives who have gone before you). She was an alcoholic and would have long been fired had it not been for the teacher's tenure program. She would come to school either hung over or slightly drunk. My sister's classmates moved lockers in front of the door to her classroom. She spent quite some time searching for her classroom. Then she went to the administration office and reported it missing. I think she taught Science too.

Mrs. Ownbey who taught us Biology. She had breast cancer and a masectomy. She would come to school without wearing her prosthetic boob. She also tried to scare us one time by cutting a hole in a box, poking her finger up through the hole and putting a little ketchup around it. She told us it was a finger from the morgue and would have us look closely then wiggle it. Needless to say no one was scared. I think we actually saw her set up the whole gag. Poor thing had a nervous breakdown after our class went through.

There seems to be a trend in our town with crazy Science teachers. Would now be a good time to tell you that my university degree is in Middle Grades..... Science and Social Studies? Might explain a few things.... hmmmmmmm?


Angel said...

Such good memories!!! I had an A average in Mr. Coleman's class and never made an A. What about Mrs. Dekle! I don't think I learned anything about geometry. Bless her heart. Don't forget about Mr. George and Mrs. Coney. What were they up to in the office!

Aunty Evil said...

Ahhh Melinda, I think it's funny that you had all the looney teachers.

The only question I have is...were they looney before they had you as a student?

Stomper Girl said...

The missing classroom is very funny. But the teacher who fell asleep driving a busload of kids is just plain scary.

Fairlie said...

I'm laughing about the missing classroom too! That is just too funny.

I remember having a few teachers we could get completely off-topic by asking questions on their pet topics! Kids are smart like that.

Team SAK said...

So funny Melinda! Maybe the co-incidence of unusual science teachers has something to do with bunsen burners, test tubes and a few unusual chemicals here and there.

M said...

Ha! Missing classroom.

Gosh, most of my primary teachers were memorable for being hopeless. Mr McMahon, my third grade teacher, couldn't spell. He had spelling mistakes picked up by some of our worst spellers (and we were in a v small country town, there were some BAD spellers).

My History teacher in high school was also my MUM's history teacher. She was horrified when she recognised my mum at a function and said "When your granddaughter starts here it'll be definitely time to retire".

Tracey Petersen said...

I'm glad that you explained 'wall-eyed'. Where on earth does that expression originate?

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map