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For an ex-school teacher, this is a great time of year. No more having
to reply to everyone's quirping, "Ready for school to start?" When they
ask me if I miss teaching, I honestly reply, "There are two things that
I really do miss - the paycheck and the dumpster." I was
always the first one there in the morning, so I took advantage of a
place to get rid of my household trash.
The great thing about the human mind is that we tend to forget first
the bad and retain longest the good memories, and I still like to recall
some of the humorous things that happened in my 20-year career.
A teacher, like a lawyer, must learn to be a quick thinker and respond
carefully. A student asked me one day whether a person could be punished
for something he didn't do. Immediately, I assured him, "By no means."
"That's good," he said, "because I didn't do my homework."
On another occasion we had been studying the principle by which water
extinguishes fire - that is, it cools the material down beyond the
incendiary point and also cuts off the oxygen supply necessary for
combustion. On this exam I had the question, "How does water put out a
fire?" More than one in the class answered, "Pretty good."
The fad with the mini skirts was hectic for a single male teacher. It's
difficult to stand at the lectern and lecture with so many exposed
bottoms staring me in the face. To resolve my problem, I rearranged the
room so that my desk and lectern was to one side. Then there was the
16-year-old boy who kept dropping his pencil. One day I stopped talking
and addressed the young man, who was in the aisle on his hands and knees
retrieving his pencil.
"Royce," I shouted, "What are you doing?"
"Just looking," he replied meekly.
Obviously he deserved no punishment for his honest reply, and besides,
the girls were getting the attention they desired.
I even sequestered a copy of Playboy from one of the students who had
cleverly removed the cover and replaced it with the cover of Mechanics
Illustrated. Ironically, this got me in trouble. The next they the
principal called me in and was rebuffing me for having indecent material
in my desk. He had gone by to pick up my lesson plan book and grabbed
the wrong thing. And he wouldn't even return it.
This brings me to the episode of the teenager who was complaining to me
about how much he hated school. He was contending that it was like a
prison, and any way he looked at it, he had three more years to serve on
his sentence. I put my hand on his shoulder and, to his surprise, agreed
"Son," I said, "You're lucky. In three years you'll be out and I'll
still have 17 years to go."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Jerry Hulsey is a former school teacher who writes for
People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of having selfish and ulterior
motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank
The good that you do will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the
smallest people with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs, but follow top dogs. Fight for the underdog
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and you will get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
As I read Mac McKinnon's column of Aug. 14, I was reminded about the
experiences my wife and I have had since we moved to Pecos. I
whole-heartily agree with your statement that locals have a negative
attitude towards their cvity.
My wife and I have been in Pecos for 11 months. I was born and raised
here. I lived in southern California for 38 years, where I met and
married my wife.
I left Pecos because I joined the Army, where I earned my G.E.D. I then
went to California Baptist College, where I double majored in sociology
and religion. I earned my masters degree in Christian Education from
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
We have bought a home in Pecos and are thoroughly enjoying working and
living here. There is no smog, no traffic, no serial killers, no
earthquakes, no drive-by shootings, and best of all, no stress that
accompanies the aforementioned.
- Ron Garcia
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