Saturday, June 18, 2011
ENGLISH: Mrs. Waite
"Gee, I forgot what I was going to ask," was often the reply, which, unfortunately, only succeeded in pushing her ever closer to the edge.
One member of that class was the unforgettable and lovably crazy Abdel Mokhriby (RIP). Abdel was probably a Muslim from Morocco, although we could have cared less about that. To us he was just crazy Abdul, who was so busy enjoying life that school seemed almost irrelevant to him. Much of his out of school time was spent in a pool hall on State Street, where he could hustle some money.
One time Abdel was in a class taught by Mr.Gervais, referred to by students as Jumping Joe. The class was assigned an essay to write. Being too busy to write essays, Abdel somehow got a hold of an essay written by Franklin Miller (RIP) and copied it in his own sloppy handwriting. Franklin's paper, of course, was well written and probably typed.
Now back to Mrs. Waite's class, where Abdel sat in the seat behind me. This was a split class, meaning we went to class for 20 min. and then had a half-hour lunch break before returning to the classroom. Consequently, many students brought a bagged lunch to class. Nothing upset Mrs. Waite more than a student eating in class prior to the lunch break.
One day I arrived in class about 10 min. late with a written excuse, which I placed on her desk. Seeing me out of the corner of her eye as she furiously wrote on the chalk board, she told me to take a seat. As I was sitting down, Abdel rattled his lunch bag and said, "Geis, you can't eat lunch now!"
Mrs. Waite wheeled around from the chalkboard, pointed an accusatory finger at me and said, "How many times do I have to tell you, you can eat your lunch in class."
"I wasn't eating my lunch," I protested.
"Yes, you were. Don't lie!"
"I have had enough! Go to the office, right now!"
I grabbed my books and lunch bag and started out of the room, glancing back and looking at Abdel, who was grinning ear to ear and giving me a wink. I gave a return smile and nodded my head as if to say, "Good one! You got me good!"
So off I went to see Mr. Lubowiki, the assistant principal. This was the third time Mrs. Waite had kicked me out of class, so Mr. Lubowiki decided it was time to put me in another English class. The only class that fit my schedule was a non-academic English class taught by Mr. Hess, who was in his last year of teaching. He loved Shakespeare, but he was teaching to a class that couldn't care less. And Hess could care less that half the class was sleeping. Since I had an interest in what he was doing and paid attention, it was like having a personal tutor.
So, instead of being in a top English class my senior year, I wound up being in one of the bottom classes. That is ironic, considering where destiny would take me four years later. But that's another post for another day.