My Teacher Hates Me!

Chemistry
Classroom Doodles

It seems that eventually everyone comes across a teacher that does not like them. Along with the fact that kids in middle school can be cruel, school can really suck.

In my case I had that very unfortunate situation. And to top it off, it was all in the same classroom; three times a day!

Bob B. sat across from me in homeroom; that was at the beginning of the day and then again at the end while we waited for the bell to ring to get on the bus and head home. We also sat at the same very group of tables during science class. Mr. E. taught chemistry class, right before lunch. Funny thing, Bob B. didn’t bother me any other time of the day except for when we walked into homeroom, first thing, every single freaking morning. But Mr. E didn’t cut me any slack at any time of the day. If someone anywhere near our group of desks did something behind his back, I would get blamed. And grades, I couldn’t do anything right; homework, tests, even answering questions out loud in class was a disaster. So I resided myself to getting a crappy grade in that class.

But the situation with Bob B? That was something I could change and I had a plan.

Every morning when I walked in and set my books down, Bob B. would grab my “writing utensil“ and fling it into the trash can. The first attempt at stopping this behavior was to slide it into the spiral of my notebook. No dice. And I swear Mr. E. just rolled his eyes from high atop the science desk that sat above us all. The next day I held it in my hand. Progress! So you’re wondering why I didn’t just put it in my pocket. Well I try that until the day the pen exploded. Good thing I was wearing blue jeans, they just turned a little bluer on the side. My skin underneath looked like a gargantuan bruise. Thank goodness we didn’t have gym class that day. As long as I remembered to keep my pen in-hand during homeroom, all was good with Bob B.

Then it finally happened. He must’ve caught me on a bad day for I was a very timid child. As I walked in and set my books on the desk, he chucked my brand-new mechanical pencil that my dad had given me the night before, into the trash can. Even before it had time to bounce off the side on its way to the bottom, I was turning green, transforming into the Incredible Hulk. I reared back to unleash the most powerful punch I could muster. Right smack dab in the jaw. Bob B. was laid out, flat as a pancake, on the floor in front of that big monster science desk.

Mr. E. hardly looked over when he said, ”I was wondering how long that was going to take.” I picked my pencil out of the trash before settling in behind my desk. Bob B. crawled back in his. Until this very afternoon, 40 plus years later when I put “writing utensil” to paper, nothing had ever been said about that incident.

As high school progressed, Bob B and I had become friendly. Never very close, but still I would have considered him a friend. Sadly though, Bob B. passed away shortly after graduation in a freak motorcycle accident. Mr. E. sucked as a teacher, in my opinion. To this day I hate chemistry. I even struggled with the subject in high school and college. I wonder if his behaviour toward me back in middle school had any bearing on my later lack of success in chemistry.

Fast-forward to my youngest son in high school. He had a theater teacher that made that class very unpleasant for him. Thankfully his guidance counselor intervened early in the year. By the end of his freshman year he increased his grade to an A. As a sophomore and junior he received nearly perfect scores in that class. And he’s well on his way for the same success as a senior. Who knows where he will go with his love for theater, now that he has “Good Chemistry” with such a wonderful teacher!

Peter Berry

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