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The children weren't only ignoring my American history teachings, I was being openly mocked from all sides. I couldn't turn around to write on the blackboard, because I'd just be hit with another spitball, or even a full can of Coca Cola, which had happened to the substitute teacher the day before.
These youngsters were certainly old enough to know better than to behave so rudely. I was starting to get quite frustrated with this job, but I was also still attracted to the prospect of improving their voracious minds. Of expanding their horizons. They were still like sponges at this age. They could absorb information, and I knew that despite the rowdiness I saw before me, these little people just needed to get over the hump. I needed to make a breakthrough of some sort. But how?
I tried once again to return to the curriculum. I'd paint a vivid picture for them. Bear in mind that I'm a 91-year-old British expatriot, so I didn't think the following sentence would create such pandemonium:
"Now, the roaring 20's were much gayer times. I even remember fondly asking for fags when seated indoors from a young member of the waitstaff who had just been making love to his best girl over in the corner."
The kids exploded with laughter. In a moment of anger, and perhaps senility (in fact, I am surprised I can even remember all these details), I hastily released my childish tallywhacker into the recycled classroom air.
Now, I say childish, and not childlike, because it really is childish. It's impetuous, naive, and even twitches uncontrollably during the theme song for Reading Rainbow, indifferent to the show's non-threatening Afro-American host, LeVond Bertram. In appearance, it resembles an aging veteran of foreign wars, or perhaps a cornish hen: distracted, dishevelled, and more than a little interested in meat pies.
Where was I? Oh. What??
Date Written: February 10, 2005
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