Thursday, May 21, 2009

Of Levers and Lazy Days

School was officially over yesterday which means I don't have to get up early anymore. Yes, I'm nine.

Whenever you ask a kid what is the best part of summer, they start with, "I get to sleep in."

I believe this says something about the school day schedule because at nine, "sleeping in" should not rank above things like "no homework" or "looking at Mrs. Higginbottom's mole during math class."

Not that I ever had a teacher named Mrs. Higginbottom, but if I did, I wouldn't want to look at her mole all day.

I did, however, have Mr. S.

Mr. S, bless his heart, was my high school physics teacher. Those students on the college track took either physics or chemistry. Like all good students, we chose wisely.

The chemistry teacher is tough.

The physics teacher is not.

Take physics.

Critical thinking is a strong point of high schoolers.

I already had Mr. S for Algebra 2 and did not learn a thing. (Except to get my best friend to share her homework with me.) Clearly, my high school years were the pinnacle of my education.

Besides the fact that Mr. S wasn't tough, there was something odd about him. He sat at his desk and read from the physics teacher's edition and fell asleep. In the middle of the sentence. Of course, we'd all giggle and talk, then drop something and watch him wake up.

Guess who would do the dropping.

In addition to my fine education, my high school years were the pinnacle of my growth as a compassionate human being.

Mr. S would wake up from the noise, look around through squinted eyes, slurp in the drool, and continue to read something about a lever or a fulcrum or a pulley. This would go on for the entire hour until the bell rang and we'd all run off to AP English.

I later realized that Mr. S. could have suffered from narcolepsy, which is both sad and shocking. I mean, didn't the principal notice the math and science teacher nodding off? Wow. Those are tax dollars well spent.

Or it could be that Mr. S. was just like the rest of us, waiting for summer so that he could sleep in.

Dreaming of levers and fulcrums and pulleys, the three things I learned in high school physics.


Roxanne said...

Somehow, despite the lack of learning in high school (note I did NOT say lack of teaching), we all managed to be successful. The world still turns. . .economies rise and fall. . .but it IS very scary that Mr. S. would just fall asleep at random. The kids I teach would all silently exit the room leaving me to wake up alone but rested.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I just lurrve your writing. You've made me recall some strange teachers/moments, too.

Barb said...

Reading this brought back such memories. It's funny to remember how in awe of our teachers we were. Looking back, I realize how very ordinary they were, how human. But sitting in biology and staring at Mrs. Bosh's bottle black hair and inch long blood red fingernails, no one could have convinced me she was less than terrifyingly different from anyone else I knew.

Now I know she just had a terribly gone wrong sense of style. :-)

You know, I dont' think there's such a thing as a teenager who would stop to think that a teacher who falls asleep mid sentense needs help - any teenager would laugh. It just goes with the age.

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

Ah...sleep...*happy sigh*

My 6 year old pretty regularly sleeps 10 hours/night...occasionally 11. My 9 year old sleeps anywhere from 9 to 10. 8-9 for the 13 year old. And I let them. Why does school start so crazy early in the morning? Do you ever wonder how the classroom would look different if every kid was well rested?

kimberly t. bowling said...

I'm totally with you on the slumbers of summer break. Ours begins tomorrow and I, for one, CANNOT wait. Just he thought of not having the usual morning rush is like a burden lifting.

Enjoyed your trek down memory lane....made me remember how incredibly boring our physics teacher was....who also taught our geometry, algebra, trigonometry, etc.. So, every year, each class, boring as the next!! :)