Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiku Hump Day: HIGH SCHOOL KNOWLEDGE, or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Thought Of Bombing My Teacher’s House

For some reason, I’ve been on a very philosophical, existential kick at work lately. Maybe it’s the conditions, maybe it’s the heightened clarity brought on by my recent ranting about Crap Jobs, but I find myself growing increasingly amazed that, as Cinderella (the band, not the Disney floozie) once said, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Winners of Best Transvestite Philosophy Award of 1987

*hoarse growl* - “MY GYPSY ROAD…CAN’T TAKE ME HOME!!!”

What it is seems to be is, as Nietschze once said, “aah-CHOOOOOO!!”

Sorry, that was just Nietschze sneezing. Disregard.

What it seems to be is an amazing parallel that runs deeper than just casual observations about surface similarities between our childhood, adolescent and adult lives. It is the fact that we will ALWAYS make the same choices based on who we are, and what our environment and upbringing has made us do, regardless of so-called “education.” We will always retain the same type of random information that we WANT to retain, regardless of quality or quantity of said information being provided. You can tell me all about how this particular cardboard box was manufactured and shipped from Poughkeepsie, NY to Odor Creek, OK in order to hold nothing but nails, but the fact is, 10 years later, the only thing I’ll remember is that the driver of the truck listened to Cinderella the whole way there. This is getting too deterministic and philosophical. And now for something completely different:

The name of this incredibly awesome tag team was almost the topic this week, but then I thought, “It’s just too soon.”

Anyway, after that rambling, incoherent intro, which I hope I have succeeded in making everyone in the room dumber for having read it (THERE’S that elusive narrative thread, buried within an Adam Sandler reference…whew), (which reminds me of a few high school teachers I had), (holy crap! TRIPLE parentheticals, spaced by commas, punctuated within!), *MrsX slap-on-the-head*


Sorry. After that rambling, incoherent intro, I wanted to stress that this week’s topic actually is Things I Really And Truly Learned In High School. Or college. Or grade school. For instance, after all the nonsense and the papers and the doodles I went through (I kept my high school notebooks for the doodles alone – okay, no more parenthetical references), I marvel at the randomness of the actual knowledge I remember retaining solely from high school classes. WITNESS:

- Macbeth is pretty damn good, as is all Shakespeare, if you REALLY take the time. The deeper you go, the better it gets.
- Force equals Mass times Distance. Pretty godamned effective when you think about it.
- The Civil War was not actually about slavery, but was moreso a perfect storm of societal, economic and territorial frustrations coming to a head at the perfect adolescent point after the birth of a nation (but on the test, just select (b) Slavery).
- In that same class, I learned how to build a nationwide railroad.
- Michael Crichton’s name is actually pronounced CRY-ton, not “CRITCH-ton,” like it’s fucking spelled. But it doesn’t matter because he’s dead.
- "Diner" is actually a pretty damn good movie, despite the Guttenberg.
- The popular, beautiful, rich people will always make slaves of the homely, hardworking masses. In ANY hierarchy, not just high school.
- Give me some clay and a kiln, and I’ll give you a wrestling figure.
- Sewing is hard as crap.
- Homework, as a concept, totally sucks, has always sucked, and will always suck.

That last one is what kind of brings us full circle. Or at least, it brings ME full circle, which is to say brings everybody else full Mobius-strip, or full Rocky-Point-Corkscrew. After a 14-hour day, sometimes after enduring gale-force winds and rain, just like this past Monday, I STILL have to come home and do an hour and a half to two hours of work to prepare not for tomorrow, but the next day, as the requirements of the Key 2nd AD entail. I have to show up for work tomorrow having already prepped the FOLLOWING day, and spend the entire day cross-checking information with 10 different departments. And it totally, totally sucks. 20 years later, I STILL have fucking homework. And I don’t retain a BIT of it. For the record, as I craft this intro, I am sacrificing my “homework time” in favor of getting up early and scrambling to prep at 6am Wednesday. To have a HHD post. Because that’s just the kind of blogger I am.

I can feel I’m on the verge of another disjointed diatribe, so I’ll only ask you all this –

What did you REALLY learn in high school? And as an adjunct, Has it helped you at all?

No cutting class today, people. Although as a subcategory, I’ll take “Amusing Hall-Pass Haikus That Get Me Out Of This Whack-Ass Topic.” But you need at least 5 to be excused.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the following, as they made the email circuit a few years ago, but here’s some real-life test answers penned by actual students, and I only wish I’d had the presence of mind to do some shit like this. Bantha fodder for inspiration (and I hope the quality is clear enough. If you can’t read ‘em, go here for these plus more hilarious essays and stuff):



HandsomeStan said...

(JPX, you & I must have posted simultaneously. How come this is way down below Akbar? Which is hilarious, btw...)

Home economics
Cook Some Shit And Eat It Class
You just can't beat that

Life would be awesome
If my knowledge of "cosines"
Was at all useful

JPX said...

What I learned in school
Woods are a good hiding place
When you see bullies

Must make confession
Never stood up to bullies
Let Octo do it

It's true, he saved me
Kenny Wajda pummeled me
Octo saved the day

Once in the third grade
Jimmy Johansen punched me
Right in my damn face!

Because of Jimmy
I had braces for 3 years
I hope he's dead now

Teachers bullied too
Mrs. Springthorpe hated me
Openly mocked me

Third grade principal
Played mind games with me often
Thankfully he's dead

Great topic, Handsome
I just love thinking of past
Now I'm just depressed

JPX said...

Thank god for the "curve"
A '28' on stats final
Got me a B+

HandsomeStan said...

Sorry, JPX
It was "Hair" that triggered this
I blame your woman

Only good for haiku lines
"Sine squared?" What the fuck.

Octopunk said...

Remember clusters?
Kenny's bully cred was Red
Silver me knew not

With no rep to fear
He was just some weird fat kid
Deserving some pain

It's hard to look tough
After ten minutes on ground
Clutching and mewling

Octopunk said...

Algebra useless?
No! For correct model scale
I cross multiply

Octopunk said...

Best history teach
Mr. Geraghty taught us
You can work while drunk

Octopunk said...

Teach: talk to you kids
There's always an argument
Me: no there isn't

Octopunk said...

Guidance counselor
Weekend Showcase rent-a-cop
How could I listen?

JPX said...

Girls did not like me
Could never access that world
I hated them all

Chrissa Carlotti
The first girl to sprout big boobs
All boys were obsessed

HandsomeStan said...

Wonder of Wood Shop
Teacher with a lazy eye
On the table saw

Johnny Sweatpants said...

7th grade letdown
The wood shop award goes to -
The blind kid… again

Landshark said...

Cool Mr. Baker,
All Cross/Jones kids shared stories
Teach and his Harley

Also saw himself
As expert on hot weiners
Rod's Grill got his vote

I wrote a haiku
For old Baker's writing class
He never forgot:

Hairy sweaty arm
Holding my cherished delights
Come to me gagger

Harley Davidson
Intimidating machine
Get out of my way

AC said...

at barrington high
got busted spreading gossip
now i just listen

in 11th grade
listened to "the wall" nightly
retained THOSE lessons

Catfreeek said...

That Mrs. Springthorpe
openly mocked everyone
miserable bitch

I may have helped with
that one bully's demeaner
if it's Johannes

Me and his sister
pummeled him with cow patties
until he cried hard

Catfreeek said...

I learned that art class
was more fun when I was high
and I still got A's

Thanks Mr. Battles
for introducing me to
really great authors

I also learned that
I took much more thorough notes
when jacked up on speed

German class taught me
German beer in brown bottles
was not a good choice

It's in the water
Brown came from the dirty Rhine
Green bottles, good stuff

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Kids can be so cruel
Especially kids like me
I regret nothing

Poor old Mrs. Bates
No respect from yours truly
Called her “Master Bates”

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Metal shop playtime
Blowtorches and Chinese stars
What else do you need?

Catfreeek said...

Film lit, greatest class
watch movies then discuss them.
Hmmm, sounds like our blog

Seven years of band
learned to play the saxophone
now I've forgotten

Whirlygirl said...

Cigarettes and booze
Low tops and lots of perfume
My first grade teacher

Boys looked down her blouse
Guy teachers looked up her skirt
She sat in cloud smoke

Hot pink lips and cheeks
White blouse with braless sagged boobs
My music teacher

She picked out her pet
Handsome dear, get me coffee
All the boys ran…ran

Crazy crazy eyes
Rumor was she slept with dogs
My mad art teacher

She scared all the kids
We all caught a glitter fear
It could cut your eyes

Neatly pressed attire
Straight legs on parallel bars
My stiff gym teacher

Forward roll and back
Handstands, splits and straddled legs
Quite a limber man

Uttered to herself
Her prize son blew his brains out
My sixth grade teacher

She soon left the school
Went on an extended cruise
Or at least she thought

Notes full of insults
Fired for student cruelty
My fifth grade teacher

One kid she wrote of
His life forever ruined
A Wal-Mart greeter

Catfreeek said...

Poor Mr. Kinney
Looked like Benny Hill's old guy
I patted his head

Mr. Manardi
I taped him yelling at us
How he hated me

Mr. MacGregor
Once stood on a chair for height
Just to yell at me

Whirlygirl said...

Studly math teacher
Wife, kids, a family man
Asked me on a date

Whirlygirl said...

I’m at a café
People see me counting
They think I am nuts

Catfreeek said...

Third grade math teacher
Mrs. Pierce, sucked air through teeth
very distracting

Fourth grade English class
found a tick on me and screamed
so embarrassing

Smoked weed before class
While in class I coughed real hard
exhaling smoke cloud

AC said...

in my junior year
learned how strict my parents were
grounded on prom night

at exact same time
learned not to ride on car roof
as dad's driving by

HandsomeStan said...

Gym class taught a lot
Locker room taught even more
Looks like I'm smallest

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Seventh grade crisis
Tim Jones stole my ham sandwich
I will get revenge

Catfreeek said...

Biggest lesson learned
came after high school ended
it was all surreal

Metal shop teacher
Nearsighted Mr. Trahan
a blind man welding

Wood shop was fun time
Mr. Fazio told jokes
They weren't that funny

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Lovely Anika
Broke my heart and moved out west
The love of my life

Full of mystery
Largest breasts in Rhode Island
Some wounds never heal

Found her on MySpace
Married an elderly man
And she found God… *pukes*

Catfreeek said...

Sex ed class taught by
the hot lady gym teacher
the boys were all flushed

5th grade sex ed class
a classmate who clued us in
she knew all the facts

My friend and I peeked
into a library book
the word, va-gee-na

For years mispronounced
how embarrassing it was
It still makes me laugh

JPX said...

Junior high was bad
Bullies, mean girls, puberty
Lord of the Flies years

First day of first grade
Barbara August puked on desk
Gross, bad omen

Who remembers R.I.F?
"Reading is Fundamental"
A rare school freebie

Caught the chicken pox
On day of Hasbro field trip
Birth of toy issues

Class went on field trip
I stayed home and itched and scratched
Still pissed about this

JPX said...

Got away with it
I never took chemistry
To this day I'm glad

Octo let me cheat
Copied his history tests
I like my smart friends

A.C. and hubby
Helped me in graduate school
Never would've passed

What I learned in school
Don't marry a borderline
Life is just too short

Catfreeek said...

JPX warning
Barbara August bad omen
Yup, she's Tony's ex

Whirlygirl said...

Mom enters class in costume
A balloon-a-gram

JPX said...

Catfreeek, I'm speechless
That's nothing I'd brag about
Bad omen, indeed!

Carla Cole scared me
She was as mean as they come
Angry, angry girl

JPX said...

OMG, Whirly!
It doesn't get worse than that
I think I would die

Whirlygirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whirlygirl said...

Two vice principles:
one played ball with dad; other
tried to play with me

Octopunk said...

Jeez, Whirly, what's up?
All Lolita and whatnot
That sounds pretty lame

Whirlygirl said...

Shelve library books
Wash down lunchroom tables
In school suspension

Octopunk said...

When I see these kids
Sleeping with their hot teachers
I think: where was mine?

Octopunk said...

We called them "pit bugs"
The kids who smoked before class
Years later: "dope flies"

Whirlygirl said...

Poor Mrs Whitehead
Greasy, smelly Ms Whitehead
stunk like rotten fish

Scared the class away
not a soul could bear her stench
not even a mouse

Her life was once grand
used to be a beauty queen
fairytale life

Her husband left her
for the pageant runner-up
blond with double D's

Poor Mrs Whitehead
went home and ate and ate and
ate and ate and ate

Not much else remained
just her name and tenth grade math
we had to smell her

JPX said...

Jesus Christ, Whirly
Where did you go to high school?
Sounds Dickensian

Catfreeek said...

Smoking before class
We called ourselves "the pit crew"
Years later "burnouts"

Catfreeek said...

Fired music teach
Mr. Clark had too much fun
touching teenage girls

Seventh grade math class
Mr. Czerwinski went nuts
we drove him to it

Foul memories of
Home-ec with Mrs. Duffy
A mean, mean lady

Favorite teacher
Science, Mr. Pineo
He so liked fishing

Whirlygirl said...

In a large nutshell
school has taught me one core thing
people are f'd up

Whirlygirl said...

High school not all bad
I fell in love with Shakespeare
Keats and Shelley too

HandsomeStan said...

Hey BHS nerds
What's "sohcahtoa" stand for?
Bonus haiku points

Win the weekly prize
If you explain acronym
In 17 syll's

Catfreeek said...

You're flying that math geek flag high and proud Stan :)