trenchant.org

by adam mathes
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I Love Teaching

When I was in eighth grade some of my classmates who were playing sports after school broke into the English teacher’s classroom and urinated all over her desk. I was later told they took particular care to urinate in her “I love teaching” mug.

The next day was devoted to lecturing the entire grade about the incident, because, of course, you can’t just punish the few kids who did it, we all had to be lectured for hours by teachers who were so clueless as to think they chose to urinate on her desk “randomly,” rather than because she was hated by students for doing things like making 13-year-olds sit in a circle on the floor as she read to us books fit for pre-schoolers.

As the entire grade was being marched out of the inevitable all day assembly, I remember somebody bursting into laughter, and then getting pulled aside and sternly yelled at as the entire grade walked by.

“Do you think this is funny? Do you actually think this is funny?” she kept asking the now terrified student, when, in fact, we all knew damned well that it was absolutely hilarious.

I think that was one of the earliest moments that contributed to my adopting “fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke” as one of my central philosophies on life.

But what’s really funny is she kept on using that mug.

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