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A day in the life of a 9th grader...
Old 12-07-2018, 04:29 PM   #1
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A day in the life of a 9th grader...

He stormed into his 9th grade English classroom un expectantly. He wasn’t a big man, perhaps 5’4” with a slight frame. He had referred to his time in the ‘ring’; I suspect he was a lightweight. He had left the the class unsupervised, even during tests. In retrospect the cheating that went on was pervasive, shameful and made me uncomfortable. He was the football coach and apparently a busy man with things to do; Teaching english clearly wasn’t a priority. This memorable day the un supervised students were in a particularly rowdy mood. Screaming and carrying on like kids will do. He caught them at it, he was immediately angry and out of control. I was a quiet guy, not participating in the ruckus and was taught cheating wasn’t something good people did. I was sitting there quietly, doing nothing in particular, when he walked in -I made a regrettable mistake -I opened the textbook. He looked at me He said “its too late for that now”. I was a little guy, my growth spurt would come over the next three years - 50lbs and several inches. He approached grabbed me by the collar, lifted me and proceeded to throw me around the room.

My desk was overturned during the fray. I can’t say he hurt me; I was more shocked than anything. Growing up with 3 brothers meant I had learned to ‘mix it up’ and be sturdy. A friend who sat behind me later confessed “I almost wet myself because I thought he was coming for me”. Thanks Frank. It was over in a few seconds and then, amazingly, the lightweight left. I dusted myself off, righted my desk and did what people in shock often do..sat silently as did the rest of the class. When I got home my Dad shocked me and said “I hear you had a little run in with Mr. Weiss”. No more was said by anyone about the misadventure.

You can imagine I’ve pondered about the incident for years- I didn’t know it at the time but the damage done by Mr. Weiss did wasn’t solely to me . We all had been cheated of precious time to learn on what 9th graders should lean..how better to communicate with the written word. I’ve come to learn there are few things as more important.

Six years later a gifted and dedicated A PhD from the university of Illinois would do a line by line, word by word review of my fist real college paper. Only then did i realize just how unskilled a communicator I was. You see my University had decided no one would graduate who couldn’t write a decent essay. Amazingly I made it through, thought I took great effort with considerable stress.

Mr. Weiss was a lightweight indeed.
How things have changed.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:04 PM   #2
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Interesting read... I was not assaulted by a teacher, but had similar experience with not being taught...


This was 10th grade English... teacher decided to 'try something new'... well, the 'new' was that we, as a class, was going to make up a slang dictionary.... yes, we were not going to be doing what was required by the education system but do this new thing...


Well, it started off where we would just throw out slang words and someone would write them down... we kept building on that and then started to determine if they were nouns, verbs etc... next were trying to come up with a definition that most people could agree...



Now, this teacher taught a number of classes but we were the only one to get the 'new thing'... about mid way through the semester it seems that this teacher and the principal got into a shouting match and the teacher disappeared... so what happens to us Well, we get a substitute that is not even an English teacher... we have no assignments for the rest of the semester....


I had other teachers that were bad, but at least they tried to teach us what was mandated by the state...
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:08 PM   #3
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Sheesh. What school system was this? I admit to having gone to high school in the pre-Title 7 sports equality dark ages, but one thing the Morris County school system did not put up with, and that was corporal punishment of any sort whatsoever. Not even from coaches. Not even against big boys.

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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
He stormed into his 9th grade English classroom un expectantly. He wasn’t a big man, perhaps 5’4” with a slight frame. He had referred to his time in the ‘ring’; I suspect he was a lightweight. He had left the the class unsupervised, even during tests. In retrospect the cheating that went on was pervasive, shameful and made me uncomfortable. He was the football coach and apparently a busy man with things to do; Teaching english clearly wasn’t a priority. This memorable day the un supervised students were in a particularly rowdy mood. Screaming and carrying on like kids will do. He caught them at it, he was immediately angry and out of control. I was a quiet guy, not participating in the ruckus and was taught cheating wasn’t something good people did. I was sitting there quietly, doing nothing in particular, when he walked in -I made a regrettable mistake -I opened the textbook. He looked at me He said “its too late for that now”. I was a little guy, my growth spurt would come over the next three years - 50lbs and several inches. He approached grabbed me by the collar, lifted me and proceeded to throw me around the room.

My desk was overturned during the fray. I can’t say he hurt me; I was more shocked than anything. Growing up with 3 brothers meant I had learned to ‘mix it up’ and be sturdy. A friend who sat behind me later confessed “I almost wet myself because I thought he was coming for me”. Thanks Frank. It was over in a few seconds and then, amazingly, the lightweight left. I dusted myself off, righted my desk and did what people in shock often do..sat silently as did the rest of the class. When I got home my Dad shocked me and said “I hear you had a little run in with Mr. Weiss”. No more was said by anyone about the misadventure.

You can imagine I’ve pondered about the incident for years- I didn’t know it at the time but the damage done by Mr. Weiss did wasn’t solely to me . We all had been cheated of precious time to learn on what 9th graders should lean..how better to communicate with the written word. I’ve come to learn there are few things as more important.

Six years later a gifted and dedicated A PhD from the university of Illinois would do a line by line, word by word review of my fist real college paper. Only then did i realize just how unskilled a communicator I was. You see my University had decided no one would graduate who couldn’t write a decent essay. Amazingly I made it through, thought I took great effort with considerable stress.

Mr. Weiss was a lightweight indeed.
How things have changed.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:31 PM   #4
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In tenth grade, I learned there was a heavy demand for candy by the student body. After buying all of the local drug store's Now and Later candies day after day, they finally started ordering in bulk for me. I located unused lockers throughout the school and moved inventory into various areas so that I could maximize sales during class changes. I was earning hundreds of dollars each week.


Eventually, the teachers wondered why the crowds gathered around me between periods and investigated. I was later told by the principal that cafeteria sales had dropped significantly as students preferred my goods to theirs.


Anyway, I ended up in said principals office and had to relinquish my inventory and promise never to resume business. The meeting ended with a paddle on my tail bone. So much for nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in public schools.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:05 PM   #5
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In 1960s Toronto, one of the guys we shared accommodation with/hung around with, an ex-Australian Army, Korean War vet, and ex-mercenary in West Africa, (two tours), was also a supply teacher.

(Supply teachers invariably ended up filling in in 'problem' schools since the regular teachers took a great deal of time off.)

Monday morning the class yahoo started acting up...something he'd obviously gotten away with over and over.

Our friend asked him, (while feigning humility and intimidation), "If he might have a quick word out in the hall".

Brief glance both ways, to ensure there were no onlookers, and he grabbed the punk by the throat, lifted him off his feet with one hand, and whispered..."If you make one more sound in my class I'll break your ****** arm".

Friday after school he reported to us that not another disruption took place the whole week he was there.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:09 PM   #6
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Well Ray, I had a high school teacher named Weiss. He taught (in theory) history and civics. But he spent most class days amicably sharing his stories about being a B-29 tail gunner during WWll.

On Monday, he would hand out the Friday test material. He called that a "pony." So, if you came to class on Monday (to get your pony), and showed up on Friday for the test, you were golden. If one opted to skip a lot of T-W-T classes, he had no qualm (and his attendance tracking was "spotty" at best). I spent many of those T-W-T at a breakfast restaurant named Country Kitchen with like minded slackers. I really liked my Mr. Weiss.

I did have an English teacher that gave us reading assignments, then he laid his head on the desk for the remainder of the hour (each and every day). Not sure if it was depression or alcoholism (maybe both), but he was a sad sight.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:00 PM   #7
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I had a 4th grade teacher who used to take the snotty little smirking, smart a$$ed brats and put them between an open door and the wall and slam the door with her ample buttocks.

Man, did that hurt.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:09 PM   #8
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I had a 9th grade English teacher who was a dirty old man. Back in those days girls were expected to wear skirts or dresses. This old guy spent all class period dropping pens and books on the floor so when he bent down to pick them up he could look up the girls skirts. Ewww.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:13 PM   #9
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Someday I'll tell you about the 4th grade teacher who grabbed my friend by the neck and smashed his head so hard into the slate blackboard that the slate cracked, broke and a 3 foot, 100 pound jagged piece slid down like a guillotine. Almost decapitated the kid.

We all thought it was hysterical. Hey, it was the 50's.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcmagor View Post
In tenth grade, I learned there was a heavy demand for candy by the student body. After buying all of the local drug store's Now and Later candies day after day, they finally started ordering in bulk for me. I located unused lockers throughout the school and moved inventory into various areas so that I could maximize sales during class changes. I was earning hundreds of dollars each week.


Eventually, the teachers wondered why the crowds gathered around me between periods and investigated. I was later told by the principal that cafeteria sales had dropped significantly as students preferred my goods to theirs.


Anyway, I ended up in said principals office and had to relinquish my inventory and promise never to resume business. The meeting ended with a paddle on my tail bone. So much for nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in public schools.



What do you mean.... you learned a valuable lesson... that gvmt oversight can kill a thriving business if they want...
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:08 PM   #11
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Football coaches teaching English? What could go wrong? LOL Our football coach was pretty lazy too. Our Vice Principal was Mr Wickberg. He was a big man. Probably ran about 6'5 or 6'7" & 3 bills. He would stand out in the hall during class change and if things would get a bit rowdy he had a thing he did. Almost all was for effect. He would grab a young man (they were always boys) and by his collar slam him into the metal lockers. That sound reverberated down the hall. And instantly became quiet & peaceful. The miscreant was let go with a stern warning

Mrs Scrapr was aghast at this when i told a group recently. To our class it was normal. Straighten up & fly right. We knew the miscreant wasn't hurt and he deserved everything he got (wasn't hurt)
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:59 PM   #12
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Heh heh: I grew up living next to a golf course. Every few months I'd carry a bag of them to the school. $.50 each, or 3 for a buck. Kids bought'm to throw at each other, out bus windows, etc. Teachers bought'm to golf with.

I made some decent bank.

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In tenth grade, I learned there was a heavy demand for candy by the student body. After buying all of the local drug store's Now and Later candies day after day, they finally started ordering in bulk for me. I located unused lockers throughout the school and moved inventory into various areas so that I could maximize sales during class changes. I was earning hundreds of dollars each week.


Eventually, the teachers wondered why the crowds gathered around me between periods and investigated. I was later told by the principal that cafeteria sales had dropped significantly as students preferred my goods to theirs.


Anyway, I ended up in said principals office and had to relinquish my inventory and promise never to resume business. The meeting ended with a paddle on my tail bone. So much for nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in public schools.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:26 AM   #13
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It’s been years since the incident but it popped into my head when I heard about the guy who made his kicked off the bus, bullying daughter walk the 5 miles to school. IMO much ado about nothing. My dad would have... well you know.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:35 AM   #14
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When I was in city parochial grade school, 6th to 8th grade, there was physical abuse by the teaching nuns. I can attest that it was severe. In the wake of the severe clergy abuse and 1000's of victims, I've come to realize that abuse of different varieties was permitted on a large scale by the institution itself. For many victims there was life-changing effect, while for others it is just a series of incidents that made them tougher, more aware of the adult world at a very young age.

As my own children grew up in the suburbs, I kept an eye out for the unusual as they progressed through 12 years of public education in a well-to-do district. Sure enough, there were problems, but the systems (education, sports, police) seemed to react more quickly, investigate the abusive behavior, then take corrective action.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:16 AM   #15
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I grew up in a different country with an education system where "memorizing" was more important than "learning". Nevertheless my 9th grade English teacher passed away in couple of months after school started. No replacement was found for next 2.8 years (small town problem) and hence we were taught English by Science teachers. Mind you, the medium of instruction in other subjects was NOT English. Long story short, my English was so poor that I didn't even know how to correctly spell "area" or "below" after I graduated from a 4-year engineering school! I couldn't find a decent job with otherwise excellent engineering skills just because I could not conduct a proper interview in English. All in all, this "curse" propelled me to leave my former country in search for a better life. I am in so much better place (personally, professionally and financially) after two decades but the journey certainly wasn't easy. This experience is so profound for me that I see every not so positive event in my life with a positive light and trust that somehow it will all work out.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:49 AM   #16
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I was assaulted in class one time when I was in the fourth grade. Mr.Perez lifted me up by the back of my shirt, overturned my desk and threw me across the room.

There were other times when he lost control and he would lift empty desks and toss them.

I was fortunate that my parents never heard about it, or they would have beaten me severely.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:59 AM   #17
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Wow thanks for posting this.

Mr. Hancock was the wrestling coach/gym teacher/social studies teacher. I was a skinny kid, 5'8" and about 125 pounds in my sophomore year. I never had any problems with him until one day I smiled at another student, Ray.

Mr. Hancock wasn't in the mood for smiling and came over, picked me up and proceeded to throw me about the classroom, he was a good 200 pounds and in great shape. Glasses went flying and I was instantly blinded. My books and desk went flying as he beat me.

He eventually stopped and said to get out of his classroom, go see the guidance councilor to get into a different SS class! So I picked up my stuff and went down to the sweet guidance councilor. She was from the deep south and never lost her accent.

She patiently listened to me, said Mr. Hancock was having a bad day. Just go back to his class tomorrow and he'll won't kick you out!

I wasn't looking forward to it, I figured he'd beat me some more and kick me out again. Much to my surprise he acted normal. Never said a word to me. My parents were never notified by the school and I wasn't willing to talk about it. Honestly he should have been fired and not allowed around kids ever again.

When we had our 20th high school reunion I was surprised by the number of people who remembered that incident. I thought about going to visit Mr. Hancock after I had put on 40 pounds of muscle. When I was home I asked my sister about him. She claimed he died from a heart attack at an early age. Probably best.

ETA: I had no idea what emotions were brought back by posting this.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:19 AM   #18
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Honestly, that was my 1st thought too. It's not as if he was peddling drugs.

I bet he even inspired LBYM candy lovers who figured out his modus, and went and bought bulk candy for themselves....

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What do you mean.... you learned a valuable lesson... that gvmt oversight can kill a thriving business if they want...
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:35 AM   #19
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We had an 8th grade teacher who used to slam students up against the lockers. He was a mean dude. He’s around 80 years old now, living down the street from me. I often see him out in his yard while I run or bike by his house. I feel like I should pay him a visit one of these days.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:44 AM   #20
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<snip>Anyway, I ended up in said principal's office and had to relinquish my inventory and promise never to resume business. The meeting ended with a paddle on my tail bone. So much for nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in public schools.
Not sure why you were paddled. It's not like you broke any school laws! It reminds me of the candy bar sale when I was in grade school- they were NOT amused when one enterprising young lady was found selling candy bars for 75 cents instead of the 50 cents you were expected to return to the school- and pocketing the extra profit. I thought that was pretty ingenious.

My own English teacher story involved a nun, now long dead, I'm sure. In seventh grade we learned tenses. We diagrammed sentences. We REALLY got an intensive education in the fine points of English grammar. I use those principles to this day and they were invaluable in learning other languages. It's also a curse, of course. I can detect a dangling participle or a split infinitive a mile away.
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