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Home » » Whittling Away with Dick Brooks - Flashbacks

Whittling Away with Dick Brooks - Flashbacks

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 6/7/24 | 6/7/24

One of the more enjoyable parts of aging is the frequent flashbacks that occur for no apparent reason.  The one that occurred during my usual morning ponder wasn’t all that enjoyable.  For some reason the bane of my early employment as an elementary school teacher was back in all his glory.  My years of formal education including my classes in the fine art of teaching never mentioned creatures like---Bruce.  That’s not his real name but as close as my lawyer will let me come.  Short, round and loud, kids like Bruce are the reason there are so many former teachers flipping burgers at fast food joints.  He never did any of his schoolwork but he always had a lengthy excuse that always ended with it being someone else’s fault.  Threatening him with failing grades on his report card brought in a flood of back work which I quickly found out was a result of copying others work.  He had bribed, threatened and cajoled his classmates into letting him copy their work.  He copied it faithfully, mistakes and misspellings and all.  When I pointed this out to him, he promptly accused the kid whose paper he had copied of copying his work.  During the holiday season, he collected money from his classmates for a needy family he knew.  One of his little minions whom he slighted reported that Bruce had blown the money he had collected on a shiny new snowboard.  When confronted with this fact Bruce replied that he really needed the snowboard so he wasn’t exactly lying.  Bruce  treated his fellow classmates poorly but was the height of decorum around adults.  He buttered up the principal, a some what portly imposing lady, by writing her letters praising her performance as an administrator.  He picked her dandelions on the playground and always commented on how nicely she was dressed.  Behind her back, he referred to her as Principal Crisco.  When one of his cronies asked why, he made the mistake of remarking within earshot of one of the teachers that Crisco was lard in the can.  When confronted by Old Crisco, he said that he had called her Crisco because that’s what his grandmother used to make the best, the sweetest cookies in the world.  He invented a playground game.  He drew a line in the dirt about a foot from the back brick wall of the school.  The object of the game was to run as fast as you could and stop at the line without smashing into the wall.  The line at the Nurse’s office showed that it wasn’t an easy game to do well at.  Bruce was very good at talking children into trying it but some of them noticed that Bruce himself never tried it.  It was with a sense of great relief that I moved Bruce up to the next grade level at the end of the school year.  I did tell Bruce that I was thinking of retaining him due to his lack of effort.  He told me that if I did he was going to ask for me as his teacher again.  Bruce was promoted.  I followed his educational progress for years as he polished his skills and got more slippery and slimy as he moved up the educational ladder with as little effort as possible.  He graduated and I lost track of him for awhile.  I often wondered what penal institution he might be confined in and running into one of my colleagues who had had Bruce in High School, I inquired as to his whereabouts.  Seems he found the job he’d been training for all his life and was now serving his second term in Congress.

Thought for the week—Six out of seven dwarfs are not happy.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.      

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