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When I was in high school, everyone's favorite English teacher was a…

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When I was in high school, everyone's favorite English teacher was a young guy, right out of his teaching program. He was also the drama coach, which was my big thing, so he was a major adult in my life at the time. Now of course, it seems almost ridiculous to think of him as an adult as he would have been about 23 when he first arrived at my high school, but obviously when you're 14, that's TOTALLY an adult. And like many teachers in that position, I think he got a kick out of being "the cool teacher" and his class was always "fun." He was legitimately a good teacher, there are things I learned in his English or Theater classes that I still actively draw upon ... and his classes were also the kind where about once a semester he would announce a surprise field trip where we would go somewhere cool and interesting and then go to Pizza Hut for HOURS. At the time, it was awesome, and I still remember it as great ... but looking back I can definitely see how the older teachers in the department must have been rolling their eyes back into their heads all the time. And there was definitely some stuff that wouldn't fly today ... nothing that would be really WRONG, but a combination of "times have changed" and "it didn't strike me as weird at the time because I was a teenager and what did I know." Such as he would let me borrow his car to drive alone to pick up supplies, which seems crazy now, that he would let a 16 year old DRIVE HIS CAR.

Anyway, we had reconnected on Facebook a few years ago (I feel like I could say that about 90% of the people I have ever met in my entire life), and after teaching high school for another few years after my class graduated, he went back to school and ended up becoming a professor of theater, and eventually the chair of the theater department at a well-regarded regional. So finally getting to the point, he is currently on a year-long sabbatical, on a Fulbright, teaching theater at a university in Kenya. He's been keeping a blog about his experiences, and it's been really fun to read. It's not terribly, terribly heavy or ponderous, mostly a lot of "slice of life" stuff and personal insights.

* * * * *

This weekend was fun, I met up with some friends for a performance of a Scooby Doo musical at our campus theater. We started by eating our packed lunch picnic-style in my office, which was a big hit with the preschool set. Then we went to the show - we had six tickets, for three adults and three kids. We took our seats, or more accurately, I took my seat and Lucy sat on my lap so I put our coats and bags on "her" seat, because she sits on my lap. She's not really big enough to see if she sits on her own seat, and she's still too light to keep the seat DOWN unless she's sitting exactly in the right spot (it's actually been hilarious when I've put her in a theater seat and then hear her saying "Mom? Mom?" and turn to see the seat slowly folding back up with her in it). It's the kind of theater with assigned seats, like we knew for sure our seats were row R, seats 100 and 102. AND, I would like to point out ahead of time that it IS easy to get confused about theater seats, there have been plenty of times when people, including me, honestly think they are in the right seat, and then it turns out they aren't. But this is a theater that I work a lot of events in, it's like my own personal event space and I know it as a staff person as opposed to a random audience member. So I was very confident we were in our designated seats.

Then the group next to us came to sit down, and it was a big group, several couples and assorted kids. They filled up their seats and seemed to be one short, which I realized when the guy standing closest to us was pointedly looking at my bag and coat in the chair between us. I gave them a few minutes to sort themselves out, and when that didn't happen, I said, about the coat-chair, "this is her seat, but if you are short a seat, you're welcome to use it because she'll be just as happy on my lap the entire show." I still was hoping a little that they would get their group together, because it's handy to have her seat if I need to move her for a bit, like if my legs fall asleep (she's too light to keep the seat down, but she's not that light). The guy was very appreciative, and said he might take me up on that if they needed to, and I guess that got passed down the row, because a little bit later I could hear some of the moms at the other end of bunch loudly saying, like on purpose so I could hear them "well, she CLAIMS it's her seat ..." but then they did finally figure out that their party's missing seat was in another row so that all ended well.

Oh, here's something I didn't know until recently, because Lucy wanted to listen to the Scooby Doo theme song before going to the musical, so I Was looking for Scooby Doo on Netflix, and the somewhat recent incarnation, Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated, is quite a hoot. Whoever is writing it must have been a kid during the original Scooby Doo years, because they get all the things that make the essential concept funny, like Fred being clueless that Daphne is hot, and why are a bunch of teenagers touring around in a weird van, and that the villains are BONKERS. It's very self-awarely funny.
  • (no subject) -
    • As an adult, I am much more shocked by the insurance angle than anything else.

      There was also a lot of ... I'm not sure how to describe it, alone time with a male teacher that I think most teachers would avoid today, if only to be absolutely sure they could never be accused of inappropriate behavior. Like driving to get fast food after a drama club event, and then eating in the car and talking about whatever for a while before getting dropped off at home relatively late, like after dark late. Absolutely positively nothing inappropriate was going on, but I think schools would be much more concerned about the appearance these days.
  • (no subject) -
    • It's not horrible because he DIDN'T acknowledge you picked it up. Who does that, btw? I mean, aren't you conditioned to say "thank you" when someone hands you something? Hitler could hand me dog poop and "thank you" would pop out of my mouth first thing.
  • It sounds like a great weekend.
  • I might need to see Lucy + a theater seat in animated gif form.
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