Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Conversations With Random People --23

Monday following the encounter in the general store I stopped at the accountant's office to pick up my completed tax returns.  Yikes.

The lady who went over the details with me was a former student, junior high math, 1969-1971.

A block up the street to visit the post office where I needed to post a letter, thus standing behind the guy who was at the counter.  He turned and greeted me.

"Just yesterday a friend was admiring my chess board and your name came up in the conversation."

"Really?  Do you still play chess?"

"Well, I have some really nice chess sets."

"Likewise," I remarked.  "But I fear my game is pretty much gone."

"I know when I used to play against you that the best I could hope for was to drag it out as long as I could, because I knew what was coming in the end."

"The end?"

"Yeah.  Did you make the other guys play a game before you paddled them, or was I special?"

"Oh, you were special, no doubt."  Dorothy, the postal clerk, is grinning at this point.  "The question is, Did it do you any good?"

The people lined up behind us were clearly being entertained.

"You were the first teacher I ever heard swear."

"Say what?  When did you ever hear me swear?"

"On the bus lot at dismissal.  I threw an egg at a girl, hit her, too.  You were looking around to see who did it and I stepped up and said, I threw the egg.  You said, Mr. T, Monday morning first thing, my office.  Your ass is grass and I'm the lawnmower."

"I might have said that, I assented.  "So what happened on Monday?"

"Well, you went pretty easy on me, because the girl's mother had called and told you that her daughter had it coming!"

As we turned to walk out of the building he said, "I wouldn't have that job these days."

"Nor would I.  When I was principal I thought I had the best job in the world.  Still think so, but I wouldn't last an hour nowadays."

Farewells, nice talking with you, good to see you, and so on.


Sharkbytes said...

Ouch- I won't even tell you about my semester adjunct teaching. It was not pretty.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, I suspect I would no longer find the classroom to be the idyllic experience that lives in my memory.

Lin said...

You wouldn't believe what teachers and staff say these days. Well, the kids and parents too. Rough stuff. Rough times. I'm glad my kids are done with school.

Grace said...

Now there is confidence in one's teaching abilities, having a former student as your accountant! LOL (Love the ass is grass comment!)

vanilla said...

Lin, I suspect that unfortunately teachers and kids talk much like everyone else these days, more's the pity.

Grace, teach them the way they should go when they are young, and when they are old they will not depart from it. Or something like that. Truth: eight of ten times one can determine character in a thirteen-year old and predict her or his adult character. The other two times, meh.

Vee said...

One of the perks of living in a small town - being aware of the successes of your students knowing how much they cherish their memories of you.

vanilla said...

Vee, true, and also the addictions and the failures. Bitter with the sweet.