Monday, March 06, 2006

VFW Teacher Award

Here's a story from yesterday's Enquirer I did about teacher Mark Oberst winning a state wide award from the VFW.

He's been teaching at Newport Middle school since 1971. I find that incredible. I was born in 1970 and this guy looks in better shape and has less grey than I do.

This is particularly incredible because Newport isn't a nice clean suburban school. It's here. The kids that go here are typically white and working class poor.

Life the Hot Sexy Fireman from my last post, Mr. Oberst seems genuinely happy and pleased to be teaching. I grudingly accepted this because I never like teachers.

To me, in pre-college days, teachers were always either indifferent or just plain mean. They always seemed burned out and frustrated and were going to take it out on me. There was one teachers - so vicious - that I could stomp her today if I ran into her. Arrogant and condescending and cruel. I never really wanted any trouble. I was obnoxious at points but never out of line. But for some reason she just hated me.

I sometimes speak (mostly e-mail) with friends from high school who refers to a particularly inspiring teacher and I think, "Him? He was kind of a dick or an a--hole," or I think. "No - she was a bitch!"

But maybe it was me. I didn't have any robin williams type telling me to tear out the intro to my poetry book or have me march around in the school yard to teach me the dangers of group think. No. Just a bunch of teachers who complained about how they were underpaid for their 9-month year with 2 weeks off a christmas and a week in the spring and every other holiday their union could get them off.

It wasn't until college that a teacher really got me thinking. Mostly profs in the economics department.

Dr. Santoni who filled the little business school hallway with pipe smoke. He scared the crap out of me. He told us to pretty much forget the book I just paid $60 for because he'd let us know what we needed to know. On the first day of Econ 451 Principals of Monetary Policy, he let us know our grade would consist of class participation, a time or two he'd call on us at random to stand in front of the class to ask us questions (no warning) and an all essay final.

Prof. Cheng who taught two classes I took on third world economics. Yes, I did. He'd escaped the ChiComs and moved to Munice Indiana. I could only imagine the life he must have led. His English was inpenetrable.

Dr. Moehring (I can't find him, but here's his google search) who looked too cool and always looked like he'd rather be out fly fishing.

Whoops gotta get to work.

Stay You.
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