Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baby Got Weird Teachers

Teachers. I've got teachers on the brain, which sounds like some kooky medical condition but isn't. I'm just obsessing about books again. See, my books all have these wonked out teachers that do strange things. Like the one that looks like a leprechaun but thinks she's a gangsta. Prime example right there. And of course, I write comedy, so you kind of expect people to be generally wonked out, right?

But the thing is that I had teachers like that when I was in high school, and I'm wondering if I'm the only one. (Like maybe I attract weird people. It's my super(ish)power.) My personal favorite was my American History teacher. He used to do an impression of a frottager, which is a person who gets their jollies from bumping into people. So he'd careen down the aisle between the desks, running into chairs and yelling, "Frottage! Frottage!"

Which sounds creepy when I write it but was not at all. It was freaking hilarious.

This teacher was the purveyor of the Happy Clicking Notebook. We all had to have three ring notebooks for our handouts, and he ran a contest to see which ones had the best click. He gave all of our textbooks silly nicknames: mine was the Bolshevik Bailey, because it was red and was written by a guy named Bailey. Thanks to him, I know a pithy little song listing all of the presidents, and after all this time I still remember it.

Every year, he won the best teacher award, and he deserved it, because the kookiness made us pay attention. I learned more in that class than I did in all the others combined, and I've never been a big American history buff.

Because really... how many teachers would assign you an oral project about the history of music and laugh hysterically while one of the biggest nerds in the school lipsynched to "Baby Got Back"? Not many.

So am I alone in this and doomed to an eternity of attracting weird people, or did some of you have strange teachers too?

18 comments:

Vivi Alden said...

I always had strange teachers, but never in a good, Happy Clicking Notebook kind of way. My 12th grade economics teacher was a LOON! He used to yell at you and give you a "zero" for no reason, yet he never really explained how this "zero" system worked or how it effected your grade. He'd just write your name on the boards and write a huge zero next to it. Then one of my classmates called him a bad teacher in the student newspaper and he filed a lawsuit against this poor kid for a million dollars (and this was back in '91, when a mil was a ridiculous amount of money).

PJ Hoover said...

Strange teachers add more to school than they could possibly imagine!
Too funny, Carrie!

adrienne said...

That frottage thing is hilarious!

I had a teacher who kept lecturing about some man I was supposedly betrothed to named Benito GaVinci. Some of the class believed him and took notes.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I wish I had some loony teachers back in the day. There nearest we got to odd was our history teacher. A scary little old woman (she was probably my age now, but you know how it is) who used to say Vladivostok alot (it was her choice of swear word). We were allowed to say it too. Ooh!

K.C. Shaw said...

All my teachers were boring. Some of them were just evil, and a few were actually stupid. But then I went to the worst high school in the WORLD. Seriously.

It wasn't until college that I found out teachers were real people and could be funny and clever. My Medieval Lit teacher was in a band and sometimes came in hungover after a late gig, at which point he'd usually cancel class. I loved that class.

Anne Spollen said...

We had an art teacher who used to throw chalk at kids and yell, "You are getting not a zero, but a DOUBLE ZERO!"

He was put on leave after our class.

Then my friend in college MARRIED her art professor who was about 700years older than her.

So my daughter is never taking art.

Natalie L. Sin said...

My ROman poetry professor was great : ) Especially when he explained the phrase, "I'll bugger you and stuff your gobs."

Kelly said...

That does sound like an interesting, wacky teacher!
My jr. high music teacher ended up having a relationship with someone in my class and got arrested! I love music and I quit music after 6th grade, because I just didn't like the guy! Two years later, I find out I had good intuition! Sicko!
In college, my female Human Sexuality teacher took us to an adult bookstore for a field trip, and we watched adult films in class!! She was actually a pretty fun teacher, but I guess you have to be pretty uninhibited to teach that class. The guys in class were in love with her!

Mary Witzl said...

Your teachers sound like they were fun -- especially the history teacher. I yearned for teachers like that, but mine were all fairly run of the mill.

My sister had a wacky fifth grade teacher. One day when the kids were all waiting in line for vaccinations and very jittery, he treated them all to the story of how his brother had once had a hypodermic needle break off in his arm when he got a shot. One of the kids asked nervously if they managed to get the needle fragment out and he said, "Nope. It's still there. Hurts him every day." What a great guy.

LauraBlue said...

I had some fun teachers but none were all that strange.

Mariah Irvin said...

In eighth grade I had a crazy American History Teacher. He brought in "genuine" cow poo for us to learn about something or other. And his 1678 styled haircut and yellow teeth made him look like he was older than the Revolutionary War.

Rena said...

Oh man, your post reminded me of a strange teacher I had for math. Her name was Mrs. Fukasawa, which is funny looking in itself. You pronounced it "fook-a-saw-wa" and obviously, she was a little Japanese woman. She never had any control over the class and her form of punishment was pop quizzes. Except for one thing -- she called them Quickies! "Class, if you don't settle down, I'm gonna give you a quickie!"

Oh dear God.

Hanna Banana said...

Let's see... My eight grade Biology teacher brought in "owl pellets" for the class to dissect (meaning we had to find the little rodent skeleton bits and put them back together). My American Governemt/Economics teacher was a hoot. He was a little man who was pidgeon toed and always looked pregnant. He divided us into groups (and let us pick our own names). We were Spenders Without A Clue (gotta love Honor students because for Am. Gov we were DBLQBC--Double Quarter Pounders With Cheese) and gave us "money" for the stock market. We rarely stayed in the black but I learned a lot about Economics.

Hanna Banana said...

Oops-- That should have been DBLQPC, lol

Suzanne Casamento said...

Excellent post and hilarious comments! I've been laughing out loud by myself. Maybe I am one of the weird people you attract...?

I never had any kooky fun teachers, but there was this one guy who would write on the chalkboard with his right hand and erase with his left. We had to take speed notes.

Jerk.

Angela said...

I had a 3rd grade teacher call me a harlot. I had a Jr. High Chemistry teacher that couldn't control the class (I'm talking fires in the back sinks and kids locking him out of the room) I had a HS teacher that told off color and ethnic jokes and a another HS teacher who gave lectures on why he thought our president would be the target of a deadly attack.

I like ur happy teacher much better!

Angela said...

Also I know of a teacher (HS) who doesn't let anyone in the class say "bless you" after a sneeze....they kids get sent out of the room for "disturbing the class"

And in my line of work I bumped into a kindergarten teacher who did not allow the kids (all day kindergarten) to have recess.

So I got to arrange for the kids to have recess for a day "If you want a PT eval, I have to see the student on the playground." I could tell she was going to just send the one student out with me so I added real fast "playing with his peers."

Brenda said...

I had a high school history teacher who would forget about the test he was about to give you if you could get him talking about Erica Kane from All My Children...we would get him talking about her all class period...I don't remember ever taking a test in that class...

I had another teacher (7th grade) that was very nervous around me...she would be talking to other students or teachers and I would walk by and say "hi" and she would start stuttering and twitching...I don't know why she did this...I mean I only put ants in her pocket book once and I may have had something to do with the cherry bomb that went off in her bottom desk drawer, but I mean heck, I spent more time in the principal's office than I did in her class...;)