Sunday, January 21, 2007

Make Up Class

Last night, David and I had our SECOND date in ONE week, an occurrence so out of the norm these days that I forgot to post my memory for January 20.

Today I will therefore post two: one this morning and one this evening.

In high school, every class I took bored me, except the ones where 1) my teachers were funny (both haha and weird) 2) I learned something inordinately useful like typing 3) a cute boy sat next to me. Academics were secondary of course, as they are for most teenagers, as they would tell you if they trusted you enough.

Here are the classes I do remember:

Marine Biology -- because Mr. Manning seemed really out of it, but cool, too; like he was always stoned. And also because of the ring of aquariums lining the classroom.

Chemistry I -- because Mr. Pancini let me and Michelle Fosdick clean his test tubes in the glassed off storage room instead of making us do the class work. We got extra credit (probably to make up for the tests we were bombing because we didn't know the material).

Chemistry II -- where Mr. Babb ticked and touretted through his explanations of chemical reactions and barely acknowledged when a group's project exploded on a Bunsen burner.

American History -- where Mr. Johnson, who got the most popular sophomore in our class pregnant, said (and I quote), "In this class, if you want to get up and sharpen your pencils, you better be a girl, because I like to watch the girls jiggle as they sharpen their pencils. If you're a boy and you want your pencil sharpened, give it to a girl sitting next to you to do it."

Sophomore English -- because Mike Copeland was in the class, and I thought he was drop-dead gorgeous.

Spanish I -- because the senior Brad Somethingorother thought that I would let him cheat off my scantrons. And I did. Because I was scared not to.

Algebra II -- because Mr. Dye's dry wit made me laugh, and because I was the only student who laughed at his jokes, I was his pet.

Reading Development -- this was like a study hall, only a study hall where we had to read works selected by our teacher, a woman who had cancer and came to school wearing a bandana over her bald, chemoed head. Brad Somethingorother was in this class, too, and I remember learning to loathe him beyond measure because he was a complete idiot -- reflected in his desire to derail the teacher at every opportunity, even though our teacher was DYING.

AP English Literature and Composition -- Mr. Victor loved Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson. I did not. I loved the Romantics. He did not. But he was the only teacher I ever had who played music during class as a lesson -- Pete Seeger singing "Little Boxes", and Don McClean's "Vincent" (Starry Starry Night). He also accused me of plagiarism in my paper on Jane Austen's EMMA. I did not plagiarize; though my use of the word primordial made him think I had. This false accusation scarred me for a long time: it indicated to me that some people thought I was dumber than I actually was. It was also the first indication that my writing was better than I believed it to be.

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