Friday, April 3, 2009


The longest word in the English language. Sort of.

It was extra credit each week on our test in the 7th grade life science class. Which class was taught by Mr. R, a single guy from California who was funny and irreverent in a way that was both appalling and appealing to kids 12 and 13 years old and just moving into adolescence. He was cool. And I was never totally comfortable in his class. He was tall and thin and wore jeans, plaid shirts and cowboy boots. He owned horses and if you were cool enough he would invite you to ride them. It seems, though, that you had to not only be cool, but also a girl, which is utterly creepy from my current perspective. I don't know that he had any mal intentions. (Is mal a word in English? Substitute poor/bad/etc.) He seemed to be a nice enough guy. But there was something he missed about being an adult among teenagers; that just because he had a way with them didn't mean he should be one of them. But he had a hard time with that. There were boundaries he thought were funny to step over; just a quick little dance and then back on the right side of the line. Better to be cool, than be adult. He let us have cool parties when we got good test scores. He had a cool way of taking role.

I was not cool enough to be invited to ride horses {thank goodness for that}.

Cool may be a descriptor, but it is not a virtue.

1 comment:

  1. I had the SAME teacher in Jr. High, only the female version. And she wasn't single. But later got divorced, and I can't blame her husband. He was a really nice guy and she was just too drawn to jr high boys. Not that anything ever happened....that I know of....but still. Yea, fun but weird.

    Of course your description of your teacher is much more eloquent.