weeks remained until I graduated from high school.
I barely squeezed out of the all-consuming maw of
high school intact; a number of forces conspired to
bar my exit from the grinding gears that reduced most
of my compatriots to grease and clothes. I didnít
come out with all my parts, doubtless, but I think
that I received the minimal amount of skullwash.
I had to catalogue the teachers who did me the most
damage, Iíd be here all day, but Iím going through
my yearbooks looking at the faces that I hated enough
to eradicate with a cheap gum eraser the summer after
my Freshman year, and a few stand out. Their empty
picture frames are still filled with the ghost of
my contempt for them, and the memories I have of my
humiliation at their hands will last me a long, long
first blank photograph was Susan Adkins, a hideous
mountain of an English teacher who kept us under her
lardulent thumb for a whole year. At the beginning
of my Freshman year, because I had been in a private
school for the last three years, I didnít have the
official academic record necessary to place me into
Honors classes where I apparently belonged. So I had
to start out in the slow-jams remedial moron classes
just like everybody else and attempt to prove that
I didnít belong there because of my super-huge brainbox.
Getting out of Math was easy due to the geniality
of Mr. Starcevich, History was eventually accomplished,
but English was another story. Adkins was lord of
her eraser-dust kingdom, and she refused to let anyone
leave. No matter how much extra credit I churned out,
she refused to even consider my pleas for escape,
content in keeping me trapped in 5th period with a
crew of retards, jocks and spitball-flinging mooks.
Eventually, I stopped trying.
not like Honors was any better, though; after three
weeks in Mr. Andersonís AP History class, I was resoundingly
booted back to the minor leagues. I suppose this one
could be at least partially blamed on me, though,
as I had begun the electric academic slide that would
carry my GPA ever-lower over the next seasons. But
itís not like this bald, smug asshole gave me any
reason to stay; his constant ogling of female students
and ignoring of male ones made his class forty-five
minutes of irritants and torture. I was more than
pleased to learn of his eventual dismissal from the
school; the reason I invented for his pink slip read
and of course, gym class. Coach Beckwith. People I
talked to who had attended the school a decade before
me remember him as a dedicated, competent gym teacher
and track coach, but all I saw during my merciful
one-semester stay under his tutelage was a grizzled
disciplinarian who roused himself enough to take attendance
and then retreated into his office to ignore the cries
of pain coming from my head while having weights bashed
against it. I endured nearly a month of torture, people
stealing my clothes, being pushed around and kicked
like a dog, before I simply stopped attending his
class. Did he care that my failing grade came from
a refusal to accept asskickings like a good boy? Nope,
of course not, he just sat back in his office and
let anarchy run rampant.
on in the book is Richard Williams, the Honors Math
teacher who took me in for first-year Algebra. This
calcified wrinkle-bag seemed like heíd just stepped
out of a cryogenic chamber from the 1950s. Every class,
he would deliver a perfunctory overview of whatever
it was that we were allegedly supposed to be learning
that day, and then step outside the classroom for
several cigarettes. In the interim, we were pretty
much left to our own devices, our only guide to the
complex world of algebra a completely outdated textbook
covered with the marks of decades of equally bewildered
students. This behavior continued despite whatever
the events of the class were; he even excused himself
during the final exam.
else? Iíd be remiss if I didnít mention the immense
waste of life that was Clarence Acox. An immensely
talented jazz musician and bandleader, Acox was well
out of his element as vice principal of a high school.
And for whatever reason, the man had a severe mad
on for me throughout four years of school. After sentencing
me to several days cleaning the lunchroom for an imagined
offense, he physically dragged my by the ear out of
my Ecology class because he hadnít been around at
the end of the lunch slavery period to excuse me.
He also vigorously censored writing by White writers
for the school newspaper while letting African-American
work pass unmolested. Nice racism, you fucker.
fuck you all, burn in hell, fuck you all, burn in
hell. Those who can, do; those who canít, teach. Teach
on. Maybe I should have gone to college after all.