Saturday, May 12, 2007

Allen's Brain Subbed While Rome Burned

As promised (threatened?), I shall tell you about my substitute teaching reign of terror yesterday.

I first taught the 11 am computer class, in which 8th grade boys created six-page power- point presentations on assigned delegates to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Aside from occasional light reprimands for surfing Youtube instead of something like Encarta (Wikipedia was off-limits) for info on guys like Alexander Hamilton, it all went pretty smoothly.

I told you that I was supposed to teach math yesterday, which is about like Jimmy Dean leading a Passover Seder. When I got there, and told the fine ladies at the front desk that I was also subbing for math that day, they responded:

Woman 1: Oh, so you're filling in for Mr Schlubbley.

Me: He's upstairs, right?

Woman 1: Ri--

Woman 2: (interrupting) No, wait! He's subbing for Mrs Ming-the-Merciless! Honors Math!

Me: Oh my! No one told me it would be Honors Math!

Woman 2: Oh, you'll be alright! Here are your flying serpents to help keep order.

Well, that's not exactly what happened, and those aren't even close to the teachers' names, but I was teaching Honors Math! Fortunately, all I had to do was give a couple very long exams.

"Sure," I told the students, "You can ask me for help! I can't give you any, since I don't understand what I'm looking at, but you're welcome to ask."

And the winged serpents helped keep very good order.
If you're interested, the illustration came from a story in Secret Agent X Magazine, 1934, called "Fanged Fury." You can download a pdf of it by clicking here.

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