From the Best to the Worst

My classmates will probably recognize him. He taught Algebra. He even looks like a jerk.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have much money. I spent the summer of 1959 picking tobacco in Connecticut. I got back to school a week and a half after it started. I found my father on his death bed. He lingered on for about a week. I missed about two and a half weeks of school. When I finally was able to start, Mr. G didn’t have a book for me. He never tried to get a book for me. He would give homework assignments out of the book that I had no way of doing even though I tried. There I was, shattered over the death of my father, but I guess none of that was his problem. He gave me a “D”.

Now I’m not dumb, and I was pretty smart in all aspects of mathematics. I graduated cum laude in mathematics in college. In all my college career I never made less that a “B”. I went on to get a Ph.D. in physics. And this dumb son of a bitch turned his back on me. To illustrate the state of secondary education in Manatee County, which yesterday’s premier educator tried so hard to improve, Mr. G became Dean of Boys. And that’s not the least of the sorry situation there. The football coach became Principal.

In my senior year I took phys ed last period. There were three of us in the class, and all three were there because we knew we wouldn’t have to do squat. The other two were my good friend Larry Jerome, about the smartest guy I ever knew, and my no good cousin Bob. Larry never showed up and he got an “A”. This happened throughout his education, even in college. We took tennis together in college. He didn’t show up for half the classes, and he got an “A” . It happened all the time. Now the head coach and his number two coach shared a locker room in a little building behind the stadium. One day Bob and I (Larry didn’t show up that day) asked coach #2 (not the guy who became principal) what we should do that day. Our assignment was to clean his toilet.




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2 Responses to From the Best to the Worst

  1. Joe says:

    Am I mistaken, or is he the model for Arnold?? The resemblance is uncanny!

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