01/09/2003 Entry: "Three Teachers I Hated"
I saw in someone's blog the other day, a list of all the crappy teachers he had in his acting career. I am pretty lucky since I have only hated, and I mean outright hated, three teachers in my life. Out of the many dozens of teachers I have had, only three of them warrant a mention in the negative department. I decided to air this out
Name: Ms. Cordell
Quote: "I hate little boys, they are always up to SOMEthing..."
Man, Ms. Cordell, you really taught me a valuable lesson: that people in positions of power, even minute power like a school teacher, can maximize it to full cruelty. The teacher you replaced, Ms. Estes, was a pretty good teacher, but she had to leave for surgery. You were some half-time replacement, and I don't know where they dug you up from. You epitomized the skinny female overachiever of the early 80s. Part-time teacher, part-time marathon runner, and all-time mean bitch who had some sort of anti-male agenda. I'd say more than 80% of the teachers I have ever had were women, and none of them showed such spite towards my gender as you achieved. In fact, I can't remember one teacher besides you that hated me because I was a male. You kept teaming me up with that bad kid, Kurt Hess, who shot peas and flung butter in the cafeteria. I hated him, he was a such a rotten apple, but you insisted we were essentially the same. You did your best to make sure any spark of happiness or self-confidence in me was squashed. You lied to my parents about my behavior, a fact my mother later admitted seemed far-fetched. You removed me from the A-V Club because "It doesn't require any special cleverness to operate a film projector. See? [click on] See? [click off]." You HATED the fact I was in the GT program, and if it wasn't for the principal intervening, you would have kept me from those classes. I recall you once sent me into the hallway for correcting you, and thereafter you sent me to the principal almost every week. It got so bad, when he asked what I did, and I said, "I don't know," he eventually believed it! You know what he started doing? Light office work. He didn't want to send me back, and we became good friends, and I learned office work. Same with the other boys you sent to the office. It was like a roving team sometimes, the "Cordell rejects." Oddly enough, many of us were GT, too. I think the only good thing about you is that your "marathons" kept you from classes most Fridays in the spring and summer. And sometimes long weekends, where you went to run in another state. What the hell were you running from, anyway? Thankfully, you didn't come back the next year. That black scar over my self esteem salutes you and hopes you got mugged on some 26K run or something.
Name: Ms. Flemming
Grade: 4th - 6th
Quote: "You are such a failure, go sit out in the hall until you are worth something!"
There's a stereotype of female gym teachers, and while looking back on it, there were more PE/Gym teachers who were far more butch than you were, I wouldn't take back the stereotype that you were an overachiever. It was obvious you didn't like that I was fat and unathletic. The former gym teacher, Mr. Hendron, was nice, but sadly, he caught cancer and passed away. You were probably pretty good as PE teachers went, but in the 6th grade, you decided you had enough of me, and delivered that line. The rest of the year, you so humiliated and badgered me, I pretty much still hate exercise because of you. And the kids that beat me up in Junior High. But you know what? No gym teachers I had since were ever even close to as mean as you were to me. I even tried to break my own arm to get out of gymnastics because of you. You were a spiteful thing.
Name: Mr. "J"
Grade: Let's say between 6th and 9th.
Quote: "Okay... what do you want?"
I made a promise to you after you gave me that line that I would never reveal why I was forced to blackmail you. You know what? I didn't really know exactly why you were fired from your former job in Florida, a guidance counselor tipped me off on it. I spent the whole day in the library, looking up Florida newspapers on microfiche, and all I saw that that you and a bunch of teachers were fired because of "questionable practices." Yeah, I bet. Only class I ever had that took a whole week studying the "glorious history" of the KKK. You even had props, and that's what scared the [fark] out of me. You were the people my mother warned me about. That robe. That hateful, white, clean and pressed, pointy-hat robe. And you hung it next to the black kids. Real class. You "lost" our reports, you "didn't get" the homework we turned in, and "couldn't read" our tests. You even thought, just because I had a big nose, that I was "a Jew." Real smart. I will never forget that line you gave me when I told you I knew why you got fired, and I knew your past, and if you dared try the same thing in Florida to me like you did to those others, my friends would go public. You actually cowered. I couldn't imagine what disgusted me most, the fact that I, a preteen, was blackmailing an adult on scant facts and vague innuendos, or the fact you reacted to it with such humility. I have a black stain on my morals because of you. I still have chills hearing that "What do you want?" from the desperate shiver in your voice. But, in your honor, you did follow through our agreement. You will remain anonymous when I speak of you, because I made a promise, and you kept up your end. You gave me straight B's, you left the black kids alone, and you stopped. Talking. About. The "damn Jews." Did you even KNOW how many Jewish kids were in that class? Racist scum.
There. I feel a lot better. Three teachers out of... wow, like 70 or 80 isn't bad at all. Maybe when I have time, I can list the huge slew of good ones. Sra. Bomar, Ms. Ray, Dr. Joyce, Mr. Levin, Ms. Garrett, and the list goes on and on...