Tag Archives: school

Mom’s Bitter Vivid Memory

Memory on the Menu

Which good memories are better — the recent and vivid ones, or those that time has covered in a sweet haze?

Six months ago while my mom was still 99 I visited with her.

On the stand next to her chair was a picture of her entire school when she was in the first grade. It was grades 1st t0 8th. There were approximately 75 students. She had the names of at least 3/4 of the students written above them. The picture was taken in 1920.

“Wow, Mom,” I said, “that’s incredible how you remember all those people.”

She smiled.

I scanned the photo and saw a boy who looked as though he might have been a couple years ahead of mom. He had a goofy smile on his face.

“Whose this kid? I don’t know how you could ever forget him.” I said. “He looks like a real character.”

Mom pursed her lips together. “That’s Larry Patterson.”

“Why didn’t you write his name?”

“That little b*****d pissed on me,” she said vengefully, “and I’m not about to write his name.”

“How did that happen?” I asked.

“He was standing on a limb in a tree and called me over,” Mom said. “And when I looked up, he flipped it out and let it go – little b******d.”

“Wow, Mom, you really hold a grudge,” I said.

“Damn right, I do.”

Here is a link to the final episode of my short story for the day is the day, Romancing Ted.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Mom

Something To Remember & The Daily Prompt


Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me

What is your favorite sweet thing to eat? Bread pudding? Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? A smooth and creamy piece of cheesecake? Tell us all about the anticipation and delight of eating your favorite dessert. Not into sweets? Tell us all about your weakness for that certain salty snack.

All of the above.

Why is it when you’re on a serious diet people want to talk about food. Anyway, I judge the world by whether they like oatmeal/raisin cookies with milk, Marciano cherries over vanilla ice cream, Homemade brand chocolate chip peanut-butter ice cream, sweet potato pie, banana cream pie, and I could go on and on. And almost forget, icing-covered pretzels – the best of both worlds. As previously mentioned, I judge the world based on these things. If you don’t like them find your own little planet.

Here is a “sweet” story about a guy who returns to see his high school teacher. I hope you enjoy.

Something To Remember

Evan was back in town. He happened to see his old high school English teacher at a local restaurant. The chatted in the parking lot after their meals

“They call it Language Arts now,” Mr. Carter said. “So you’ll come by the class tomorrow?’

“Certainly,” Evan said.

“I’ll let it be a surprise to the class,” Mr. Carter said.

“What do you want me to talk about?” Evan said.

“Something they’ll remember,” Mr. Carter said.

“That’s a tall order,” Evan said.

“Well I remember you,” Mr. Carter said. “And that’s been 22 years ago.”

“Yeah,” Evan said. “But it was not for academic achievements.”

“I’ve never have had a student with the ability quite like yours,” Mr. Carter said. “You made a Tootsie Roll look exactly like dog poop.”

“What Tootsie Roll,” Evan said.

Mr. Carter shook his head. “See you tomorrow.”

The next day Evan waited in the hallway until Mr. Carter waved him in the classroom.

“The last five minutes of our class I thought I’d like to surprise all of you with one of my former students, Evan Markowski.” Mr. Carter gestured for Evan to step to the lectern that sat on the top of the desk.

“Do you have any questions?” Evan said.

The class was mute. After a minute they began to squirm, look around, but remained mum. Evan looked at his watch and smiled politely. He glanced at Mr. Carter sitting at a chair to the side. Mr. Carter raised his eyebrows and smiled.

Evan tapped the lectern and waited. He looked at his watch and the clock on the wall.

“Well,” Evan said. “Our time is just about up and no one had a question. Nobody even asked who I am. No one was curious as to who Evan Markowski is or more importantly who Evan Markowski was. I’m an ex convict. It was 22 years ago I sat in Mr. Carter’s class. I didn’t have any questions. I had no curiosity. You know why? Because I thought I had all the answers. Just remember this day; it was the day you had no questions.”

The students filed out of the room.

Mr. Carter stood and walked over to Evan and shook his hand. “Very nice, Evan,” Mr. Carter said. “After your name is Googled it is likely a spirited discussion will ensue tomorrow.”


Filed under Daily Prompt, Short Stories

What’s Funny About Not Going To Kindergarten?

Not my first grade class, but it sure looks like it.

Not my first grade class, but it sure looks like it.

Daily Prompt: First!

Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

My first day of school was in 1953. My sisters who were 8 and 10 years older walked me to class. They made sure my hair was combed and my shirt was tucked in. I didn’t want them to leave me.

After my teacher, Miss Kephart, introduced herself she asked, “How many of you went to kindergarten last year?”

I didn’t know what she was talking about. I never heard of kindergarten.

My hand was suspended in sort of an academic limbo. Everybody else’s hand shot up like a jack-in-the-box. Some held up both hands. I assumed they went to kindergarten twice; wherever that was.

Miss. Kephert saw my dilemma and after she told everyone to lower their hands she asked me, “Did you or did you not go to kindergarten last year?”

My brain worked at light speed. “No, but I did go to Canada and we caught some big fish.”

I had no way of knowing then, but I was the first class clown from my class.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

Becoming A Great Teacher Is Like Pulling Teeth

PullingTeeth[1]Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!

What makes a teacher great?

My senior year in high school I finally decided to take typing. The year before I wrote for the school paper and handed in all my copy handwritten.

I wasn’t very fast. I was at the bottom of the class. There was little motivation to become faster, just wanted to learn.

The required minimum speed to pass was accomplished during the last week of school.

The teacher was Mr. Goliver. He was also my Economics teacher that year. Let me say he neither was my favorite subjects or was he what I considered my best teacher, but I’m using him as an example, a good example.

Like all of us, he had is good days and bad. He was energetic. He shared personal experiences. He spoke load and clear. He called you out if it needed to be done.

It’s hard to imagine anything tougher than teaching business and office related subjects to kids who, for the most part, will never use the subjects again and knew it. Nevertheless his enthusiasm for a dull subject kept it interesting.

It was in the early spring of my senior year. I had a tooth that was killing me. I’d never in my life seen a dentist. That was for rich people or for when all your teeth were so rotted they had to be pulled for dentures.

While in typing class Mr. Goliver noticed my pain.

“If I get you an appointment will you go,” he said.

“Yes,” I said.

At that point he could have handed me a loaded revolver and I would have tried to blow my tooth out.

Mr. Goliver left the room and came back ten minutes later with a slip of paper. He handed it to me. “This guy’s a dentist. He’s a friend of mine. You have an appointment Saturday morning.”

The appointment was kept, the tooth extracted, and was forever grateful.

What makes a great teacher? Enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject and personal interest in the student.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

The Uncle Buck School Of Higher Learning

Uncle Buck and the teacher.

Uncle Buck and the teacher.

Daily Prompt: Fifteen Credits

Another school semester will soon begin. If you’re in school, are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it — or are you glad those days are over?

There was something about me and school. I didn’t like being taught, but I enjoyed learning. I was like the a guy on a tour bus; when the guide had everybody looking out the right side of the bus at majestic mountain peaks and water falls I was looking out the left side at the flat plains and meandering rivers. My imagination never allowed me to climb a mountain or go over a water falls, but I could walk the plains and ford the rivers.

School is like a grocery store. When you walk in the door you are given a $100 to spend in fifteen minutes. Some kids make the most of it. They buy everything they need and want. I buy a sack of flour, butter, a sack of potatoes, milk, eggs – you know just the basics. When I got to the check-out my bill was only $45.86 and I told them to keep the rest.

Yeah, I know, I may not got what was needed, but I sure met some interesting shoppers along the way.

There is a scene from the movie Uncle Buck which says what I’m trying to say better than what I possibly can. It is the scene with Uncle Buck and his nieces teacher:

School is a time to keep the kids inside the bus, but allow them to look out any window they wish while getting them safely to their destination. It is a time to let them buy as much with the $100 dollars they have, but make sure they don’t spend it all at the candy (no pun intended) aisle or go next door the video store.

Yeah, I was a bad egg; a twiddler, a dreamer, a silly heart, and a jabber box. School became an outlet for the peripatetic thinking that laid dormant within.

I failed to succeed at school, but who wants to be a seed-sucker anyway.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

Enemies To Best Friends In A Flash

images[3]Daily Prompt: Your Time to Shine

Early bird, or night owl?

The Daily Prompt today is as challenging as:

Chelsea Gibson and Rochelle Morgan never met until October 21st, 2012. Their meeting was all by chance because their lives to this point had ran counter to one another. One had first period history while the other had algebra. One was fitted for braces at ten-thirty the other had the eleven-fifteen appointment. Their lives had been laid out as if fate were keeping them apart. And likely it would have gone on that way until something happened the night of October 20th, 2012.

Neither could sleep.

The next day they went to school with one eye closed and no eye shadow. They drug themselves through every class. Shortly after lunch neither was able to stay awake. Chelsea was sent to office for sleeping in study hall and Rochelle fell asleep in Spanish.

There they sat together for the first times in their lives in spite of the fact they lived two blocks from each other and attended the same school since kindergarten.

“Who are you?” Chelsea said.

“Who are you?” Rochelle said.

“I asked first,” Chelsea said.

“It’s Rochelle,” Rochelle said. “Now what’s yours?”

“Well it’s not Rochelle,” Chelsea said. “But if you must know it’s Chelsea.”

“Everybody has that name,” Rochelle said. “I’m the only Rochelle in school.”

“I hate Rochelle,” Chelsea said.

“I hate Chelsea,” Rochelle said.

“I hate your hair,” Chelsea said.

“Your hair was popular…” Rochelle said. “Come to think of it, it was never popular.”

“Where’d you buy your cloths, at K-Mart?” Chelsea said.

“You’re wearing the cloths I wore last year,” Rochelle said. “You find them on the curb in front of my house?”

“Is that your perfume or is your dad an auto mechanic?” Chelsea said.

“I think somebody left the door to the boys bathroom open,” Rochelle said.

Both girls eyes started to drift shut.

The school principal appeared in the doorway of his office. “Let’s see,” he said. “It seems like we have two young ladies who can’t go to sleep at night, a couple of night owls.”

“I’ve never been a morning person,” Rochelle offered as an excuse.

“Me neither,” Chelsea said.

Chelsea and Rochelle looked at each other and said, “Wow!”

“Best friends forever,” Rochelle said.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Short Stories


Nobdy knows it all so nobody can teach it all. Nobody can learn it all, but you can learn how to think.

Nobdy knows it all so nobody can teach it all. Nobody can learn it all, but you can learn how to think.

Daily Prompt: Alma Mater

You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech.

If you want advice ask the oldest person in your family, presumably that will be a grandparent. Next in line will be your parents, aunts, and uncles. Never ask advice from a peer. Perhaps you there is a trusted friend of the family. NEVER DO WHAT YOUR HEART TELLS YOU. If some one gives you advice to do what is in your heart they are only looking for a way not to accept blame later. Smile politely and move on as if you never ask them anything, no matter who gives you that advice.

Don’t judge people just learn to size them up: Select friends and associates with the same caution you might buy a car or house. Do some research. Check the maintenance schedule. Take it to an expert. Have the foundation checked. Make sure the wiring is up to code.

Don’t acquire dept: If you owe a person or company money they become your master. Treat your assets like prized possessions. Think in terms that everybody wants to own you and take your money. Don’t become a miser, be generous where generosity is warranted, but don’t throw your money away. Never buy the advertised price.

Read good books: What ever you choose to feed your mind is the condition it will be in. The stuff you may think is crap may really be manure. Ask good people what they read. Ask them what they liked about what they read. Don’t read books written by or about celebrities or politicians. Don’t take any of their advice.

Don’t watch TV: I know a family who had no TV. The kids were the brightest in their school. They were informed, quick-witted, reliable, industrious, friendly, honest, well-liked, popular, and focused. One person in the community asked me if I could bring a sample of water from their well so he could have it tested; there had to be something in the water.

Remember as much as you can about what you are taught in school. Even the things that are not true. Years after graduating from school I met up with my old biology teacher. At first he didn’t remember me. He invited me inside to his den and found his grade book from that year. “You were not one of my better students were you?” It jogged his memory and before long he was telling me things about myself. We discussed the Bible and evolution. I recall in my school years he prefaced nearly all discussions with “this” or “that” evolved into “this” or “that.” Now I challenged him. “If this were so the species would have died off. This had to be present from the beginning.” “A cell became sensitive to light and eventually the eye. That is far-fetched.” “Organs and sensory devices seem to be strategically positioned in the body in all creatures, how is that possible without a designer?” “How did the owl evolve so differently from a seagull?” My questions went on and on as he added details of his own curiosity. Somewhere near the end of our conversation he said he was happy to see that I didn’t except what he was teaching. I was dumfounded. “Why did you teach it?” I asked. “Because that is what was in the book,” he said.

School should not teach you what to think, but how to think: THINK!

More advice from blogging alma maters:

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays