Friday, November 02, 2018

Sugar High

To all those teachers who hold class the day after Halloween, I feel your pain.
A long, long time ago in a school district far, far away the Math Teachers attended a state conference. Our management at the Research Center put out a call for volunteers to teach math classes as "special subject experts" on November 1 and 2.
Of course, I volunteered. Two days of special topics in math classes, what could go wrong?
I was assigned Advanced Calculus. Well, alrighty, then! Let's get this show on the road! 
I decided to give two presentations on the History of Navigation, which would touch on astronomy, geometry and mathematics. I'm sure Spock would have pronounced it, "Fascinating!"
Anyway, I showed up to class half an hour early, props in hand, years before Powerpoint, but with my trusty HP-45 calculator and tales to tell. I went to the Advanced Calculus room and waited for the kids to arrive whose lives I would change forever.
However, the Assistant Principal met me first and told me there had been a change in assignments. My room was BR-549 down the hall to the left.
Okie, fine, I went to my assigned room. Nobody was there, yet, so I perused the teacher's desk and handouts to find out what math class I had been assigned. 
Introduction to Math for the Doomed, Depraved and Clinically Insane.
The handouts literally talked about Mr. X and Mr. Y. The homework assignments were "Using a calculator, compute 2 x 8."
I had the Warthogs from Welcome Back Kotter. When the class filed into the room most of them were hauling bags of Halloween candy. It was the Breakfast Club. It was Blackboard Jungle. It was To Sir With Love. Without the love.
Undaunted, I introduced myself to the group chatting amongst themselves, ignoring me. I minute into my teaching career and I had already lost the class. I announced my topic and didn't get even dull stares. Half the class dragged their desks into a circle, built a fire and started a Satanic ritual. After about five minutes I gave up and announced that anybody who was interested in the special presentation could join me in the corner and the rest of you had the day off.
I got two students, one, apparently the designated sacrifice who was particularly grateful. We were pelted with candy wrappers for an hour. The next day I didn't even try. I told the Warthogs to build their camp and have fun while me and the two refugees would huddle in the corner.
Since then I have voted Yes on any school bond that increased benefits to teachers.
Oh, and the guy who got the Calculus class. Well, apparently he had a "delightful time." And to this day it has never been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the ice pick that deflated his tires belonged to me.

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