Sometimes it seems like I’m doing anything, but that isn’t so. I’m not just staring off into space. I’m thinking “oh God, in eleven months I won’t have a job”… as I stare off into space.
I spend much of my “off into space” time wondering if I can do more with my writing. I’d like to write things that will cause organizations to make direct deposits into my bank account. In my spare time, I toy with some ideas of how I might make that happen. The idea of being spontaneously contacted by a publication searching for a weekly columnist hasn’t worked out yet.
Just a few days ago, the inspiration arrived for my best writing career idea yet.
It Was Like Angels Singing On A Hill In Maryland
The end of the saga of my foreign language education…
Slide show day wasn’t nearly as exciting for me as it was for the teacher or the rest of the class. My class mates were getting a day where they didn’t have to work on conjugating Italian verbs. The teacher was finally going to lose her nemesis – me
She would throw me out and have me suspended. I’d never been thrown out of anything. Now it was inevitable. Suspension meant I would not be attending my graduation. The worst part of the situation was that it was all over something I didn’t do.
If Stress Makes You Look Older, I Probably Looked Twenty.
The strain of the situation was visible on me.
As I walked out of Buckley’s class to head to Italian he called me over and asked me what was wrong. If I had to quote him, I think he actually asked what the hell was wrong with me and if I’d gotten dumped again. He shook his head while I told him what was wrong.
The bell rang and he told me he’d write me a note that he’d delayed me. Note in hand, I walked toward my fate. My stride must’ve communicated that my issue was not resolved. The coach called me back to him. I emphasized that there was no doubt the Italian teacher would have me suspended from school for something I did not do and that being late to class was not a defense the year before. Read the rest of this entry »
A few years ago, I wrote a three part series of posts about how well I got along with my high school Italian teacher. This tale of woe involves the same cast of characters (me and that teacher) and tells of an annual joke that I got “credit” for but never ever had a role in.
Before I tell the tale (or before you go to read the original series of stories), I ought to issue a disclaimer. I loved my teachers back in high school…except for the one who taught italian.
Now, please read on, or go here to start at the beginning and put this tale into context.
The Annual Slide Show Stunt
Every year my high school Italian teacher would bring in two trays of photo slides taken during her family vacation to Rome. She would ask someone to set up the projector while she was in the hall between classes. The first year I saw the slides, the person who set up the projector took the opportunity to turn a few slides upside down. I had no part in this and did not even know it was done.
Each time she saw a slide come up upside down on the screen she would turn and stare at me. After about fifteen upside down slides she was livid. She ripped into me. I pointed out that it was impossible for me to have done what she accused me of. Nonetheless, I was tried and convicted.
I’d tell you that this tainted our teacher-student rapport, but there was no such connection.
Success Breeds Success…Or Something Like That
My friends loved this unplanned development. The whole point of turning the slides backward was to have a laugh at the teacher’s expense. The resulting explosive venting of rage upon me was a bonus that was comedy gold to them.
For days, people who witnessed her eruption would catch me in the hall between classes and imitate her screaming at me “I don’t know how you did it Omawarisan, but I know you did this.” We all got a laugh out of it, but deep down I was glad that slide show day only came once a year. Read the rest of this entry »
Remember my Guest Post week? Last week? Yeah, so there was an incident where a post got lost. I told all the posts to stay close to me and to work on the buddy system, but things happen, and they did happen.
Sadly, it happened to the post written by Debbie. Like me, she is a proud Band Parent…
Oma and I belong to a very special group. Kind of like a fraternity, but without the Greek letters or fancy handshake.
It’s called Band Parents.
I don’t know about Oma, but I was a Band Kid before I became a Band Parent. Many of us were. We loved Band so much that we couldn’t wait to introduce our kids to it.
In my town, Band starts in the spring of a kid’s fourth grade in school, when the elementary Band Director administers a test to gauge interest and aptitude. The director introduces the kids and their parents to the various instruments and recommends which ones the kid would be best suited to play.
The following year the kids sign up for Band. They’re responsible for daily practice on their chosen instrument, as well as a Winter and Spring concert. No marching. No fundraising.
Piece of cake. Read the rest of this entry »
Decades after learning it, I still apply one particular piece of my high school curriculum every day. I apply it without a second thought. It has yet to fail me. When I realize it has worked once again, I think four letters… I P D E.
I learned the lesson of IPDE from a teacher who was a legend in my high school. He took his job seriously, but was probably better known for his propensity for falling asleep. Falling asleep at the drop of a hat might be considered a handicap for a driver’s education teacher.
Sleepy Wasn’t Just A Disney Character
There were two drivers ed teachers at my high school. One, it was said, married a former student as soon as she turned 18. My teacher, the narcoleptic one, was a middle-aged man, who presumably married within his age group. He did not seem to have an issue staying awake while presenting a lesson in front of the class. His problem cropped up in two places – when the lights were out in the classroom for a film and when he was in the passenger seat of a car. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the last of a three post series that starts here.
I was off to a dreadful start with my Italian teacher. The spectacular plan I concocted in Junior High started withering in the first weeks of High School.
A Moment Of Fairness, If You Please
It became obvious after the unavoidable humiliation incident on the first day of class that I was not the teacher’s favorite. I might have become a favorite if I’d rekindled my hidden knowledge of Italian. That didn’t happen. I will admit that I lacked something as a foreign language student. Read the rest of this entry »
I do not speak Italian. I think that perhaps if any person I am currently close to should speak Italian, it’s me. Yet some how, that person is decidedly not me.
Some people have grand tales of how they learned a skill or discovered a gift. Not me. Join me now as I share the story of how I came to be embarrassingly monolingual.
Some Family Background
My dad’s family is from Molfetta, Italy. My grandparents, uncle and aunts on his side of the family were born in Italy and came through Ellis Island into the U.S.. My father was the only person in his family born in the states. Read the rest of this entry »
This year I had the opportunity to attend three high school graduations and one for a college. It’s not that my friends and family had a particularly prodigious year 18 or so years ago. My attendance was more work related.
There’s a lot to say about these events, especially after attending four of them and seeing the same things at all four.
To start out, there apparently is a requirement for all student speakers: valedictorians, salutatorians, class presidents etc. to declare their class “the greatest class ever”. This happened at all four graduations. Read the rest of this entry »